Diver relives doomed descent

Posted: 04/23/2012 in all marine news

From This Is Somerset

A diver told an inquest of his terrifying ordeal trying to save his diving “buddy” as first one and then the other ran out of air.

Deputy Coroner Alan Horne praised Robert Wheeler, from Swindon, after hearing how he tried desperately to save Bristol builder Graham Packer as the experienced divers fought for their lives off the Dorset coast.

The pair had not met before Easter Sunday last year when they paired up on a boat carrying eight divers to two sites off Lyme Regis. Robert King, skipper of the boat Blue Turtle, took divers to Lanes Ground, three miles south of Lyme, to hunt for scallops 23-24 metres down.

Mr Wheeler told how Mr Packer, 61, of Frampton Cotterell, signalled that he was ready to ascend because his air supply was low but then fumbled with the release of his marker buoy and took several minutes to release it.

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