A diver had to be airlifted to hospital yesterday evening after taking ill while on a boat off the coast of Cornwall. 

The crew of Penlee RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called by Falmouth Coastguard at 5.40pm on Thursday, over concerns for the diver.

Information had been passed to the launching authority that the diver was suffering from decompression sickness, commonly known as the bends, onboard a 42ft dive vessel and needed medical assistance south of Porthcurno.

Lifeboat ‘Ivan Ellen’ launched with seven crew on board under the command of coxswain Patch Harvey.

The dive vessel was heading towards Newlyn at 16 knots, roughly one mile south of Lamorna, when Penlee Lifeboat manoeuvred alongside.

Two lifeboat crew members were put onboard to assess the casualty, and they confirmed that the diver was showing signs of the bends.

An ambulance was called while the crew members continued to stay onboard the dive vessel to give care to the casualty, while it followed Penlee Lifeboat into Newlyn Harbour.

Falmouth Packet: The route taken by the lifeboat for the rescueThe route taken by the lifeboat for the rescue (Image: Penlee RNLI)

A Penlee spokesperson said: “Once alongside the pontoon the diver was transferred to the lifeboat.

"After another assessment by the ambulance paramedics, it was decided that the diver would need to be taken to the dive medical centre at Derriford Hospital Plymouth for further treatment.”

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At 7.30pm Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter 924 was sent for, with the diver taken by ambulance to Penzance Heliport. From there they were transferred onto the coastguard helicopter and flown to Derriford.

The Penlee spokesperson added: “We wish the diver a full recovery.”