Divers feared dead after disappearing while exploring shipwreck off UK coast

Divers feared dead after disappearing while exploring shipwreck off UK coast

A major search operation was launched around the HMS Scylla, off Whitsand Bay, after a member of the dive party raised the alarm at around 7:45pm on Friday

Two divers are feared dead after they failed to return to the surface while exploring a wreck off the coast of Cornwall.

The pair were diving around the HMS Scylla, which was sunk in 2004 to create an offshore reef.

A major search operation was launched off Whitsand Bay after another member of the dive party raised the alarm at around 7:45pm on Friday.

James Instance from Falmouth Coastguard on Saturday morning that authorities suspected the pair had sadly died, but that had not been confirmed, the BBC reports.

“There had been an issue below surface while they were exploring the wreck,” he said.

“We were unable to locate or find anybody.

“Our thoughts are with the people who were in the dive party who are dealing with what is a very traumatic experience.”

Mr Instance added that leisure divers were being asked to stay away from the wreck while a recovery effort was under way.

Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Two male divers were part of a planned dive at HMS Scylla site and failed to return to the surface.

“Police are currently assessing the situation and next of kin have been informed.”

The Royal Navy frigate was scuttled in Whitsand Bay near Plymouth in March 2004 and has attracted thousands of divers to the area, reports PlymouthLive.

Scylla is now a source of information for scientists about how marine life colonises man-made objects such as offshore wind farms.

The rusting vessel had become the resting place for scallops, anemones and mussels after about three months, and after six months starfish and urchins had made it their new home in large numbers.

There are now about 250 species on the wreck.

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