An overdue diver was located safe and well on Wednesday by the coastguard search and rescue helicopter based after a large search operation was launched around the Manacles off the Lizard Peninsula.

Just after 1pm on August 9, the coastguard received a VHF radio broadcast from a diving vessel reporting that the diver was 15 minutes overdue. having last been seen one nautical mile north of the reef while with a group of seven other divers.

An extensive search and rescue operation was launched involving Porthoustock and Mullion Coastguard Rescue Teams, Falmouth and Lizard lifeboats and the search and rescue helicopter based at Newquay, and Devon and Cornwall Police were also informed.

The missing diver was located safe and well by the coastguard helicopter just after 2pm on the shoreline. Despite being exhausted, he required no medical treatment and was airlifted to Porthoustock.

Lee Duncan, duty controller for the coastguard, said: "We commend the actions of the crew of the diving vessel who called us when the diver was overdue. The diving vessel had all the right equipment on board including a VHF radio in case anything went wrong – which is what they used in this case to raise the alarm with us.

"Thankfully, the UK coastguard helicopter was able to locate the missing diver on the shoreline and take his safety. It was very clear that the dive vessel had a plan in place if anything should go wrong and they did exactly the right thing to contact the coastguard quickly so we could task our coastguard, the RNLI lifeboats and our coastguard helicopter to assist.

"Remember if you’re planning on diving in the sea, make sure you are adequately qualified and experienced for the dive that you plan to undertake, keeping a close eye on weather and sea conditions, and making your own fitness a top priority for safe diving.

"Familiarise yourself with new or different gear before planning deep dives and to always dive within your limits. In an emergency contact the coastguard immediately."