Diver dies after being pulled from water unconscious

The Seahouses lifeboat crew in action. Picture by RNLI.
The Seahouses lifeboat crew in action. Picture by RNLI.

A man diving off the Farne Islands died at the weekend after being pulled out of the water unconscious.

Andrew Murkin, 56, from Burton upon Trent, was airlifted to Wansbeck General Hospital following the incident on Saturday morning, but was later pronounced dead.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on Tuesday.

Just before 10.40am on Saturday, both Seahouses RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch immediately by Humber Coastguard following a radio message from a local dive-charter boat.

One of the party of divers was unconscious in the water and other divers on the boat were pulling him from the water and carrying out CPR.

Both lifeboats launched without delay and one of the crew began carrying out emergency resuscitation procedures.

Meanwhile, the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer had also been called and the diver was flown directly to Wansbeck General Hospital, while the aircraft’s paramedic winchman continued to provide emergency care for him.

But later in the day, Mr Murkin was pronounced dead.

It was the third incident involving divers near the Farnes for the Seahouses lifeboat crew this year.

In June, the team went to help a female diver with a possible case of the bends near to the Knivestone. She was airlifted by the RAF Boulmer helicopter and transported to a decompression chamber at Hull.

And on Saturday, October 5, a diver fell ill prior to diving with chest pains on a boat near Longstone Island.