16 September 2005

UK: Cross-Channel teamwork finds missing diver

Impressive cross-Channel teamwork between British and French coastguard services lay behind the location of one lost British diver this summer.

Separated from the British charter boat Sundancer on the French side of Channel, the diver was found after a fine example of SAR co-ordination. While the French Coastguard co-ordinated the search programme, the British Coastguard provided information based on its latest technology.

First, the British Coastguard used its new computerised search planning software, which calculates drift, to establish a likely position for the diver. Then its Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) came into play.

The CNIS was used to identify a vessel, the Polish ship Rolnik, which was close to the diver's estimated position and could be asked to look for him. Then, once the diver had been spotted by the Rolnik 7 miles north of Cap Griz Nes, the AIS was used to follow his recovery by radar, with the ship and even the diver visible on screen.

The ship stopped and launched a tender to recover the diver. Sundancer was contacted and made its way over to the Rolnik. The diver, reported to be fit and well, was transferred back to the dive boat, which returned to Dover.

Source: www.divernet.com


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