A DIVING trip in the North Sea turned to tragedy when a man was pronounced dead after he surfaced unconscious yesterday.
The 59-year-old diver, from a group of four from Yorkshire, surfaced face-down just off Eyemouth in Berwickshire.
He was unconscious and not breathing, and was later pronounced dead at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being rushed to hospital by helicopter.
One of the man’s companions, aged 39, was in shock after being washed onto the rocks at the shore in awful conditions.
An Eyemouth coastguard spokesman said the man who died had underlying health problems, and required an inhaler.
The coastguard first received a call at 1.40pm yesterday, when the man surfaced around 50 meters from the shoreline.
He was taken to the shore by other divers and coastguard rescuers.
Eyemouth lifeboat helped the younger man to the shore.
Paramedics and Eyemouth coastguard battled for around 45 minutes to save the man’s life, but he had not regained consciousness by the time an RAF helicopter arrived.
An Eyemouth coastguard spokesman said: “He was at Eyemouth for three quarters of an hour. They did CPR and were working on him before the helicopter arrived.”
He added: “The conditions didn’t help as well.”
The Sea King, from RAF Boulmer, rushed the stricken diver to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he was later pronounced dead.
The younger man was not seriously hurt but was in shock after seeing his companion unconscious.
The spokesman continued: “He was in shock after seeing his buddy like that.”
The men were “shore diving” and did not have a boat, which meant returning to the shore amid the choppy seas was dangerous, the spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said paramedics treated a man in Eyemouth before he was airlifted to hospital.
The other man did not require hospital treatment, he said.
The spokesman said: “We were advised the coastguard were looking at another patient, he was just in shock.”
The four-man diving group was from a club in Barnsley, Yorkshire.
Eyemouth harbour was the scene of another dramatic rescue just two weeks ago, when two young girls were swept into the sea from the harbour wall by a huge wave.
One, 14-year-old Katie MacLean, remains in hospital after floating face-down in the water for several minutes.
Members of the public and emergency services braved the waves to pull the girls out.