Two Cornwall divers missing and feared dead after failing to resurface

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Two divers are feared dead after they failed to resurface during an exploration of a Royal Navy wreck off the coast of Cornwall.

The pair were diving around the HMS Scylla, a Leander-class frigate which was sunk back in March 2004 to create an offshore reef.

A major search operation off Whitsand Bay has been launched by rescuers which carried on into the early hours of Saturday morning.

James Instance from the Falmouth Coastguard told the BBC they feared the pair had died but that had not been confirmed.

He added that a member of the diving party had raised the alarm.

"We sprang into action a search and rescue plan involving the rescue helicopter from Newquay, the Looe and Plymouth inshore lifeboats, Plymouth all-weather lifeboat, a police launch and other vessels," Mr Instance said.

"The dive boat also remained on scene. 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."

The Royal Navy frigate was rushed to the scene in Whitsand Bay near Plymouth, which has attracted thousands of divers to the area.

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

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The rusting vessel had become the home for scallops, anemones and mussels after just three months.

Six months later a huge number of starfish and urchins had made it their new home.

In March, a man was pronounced dead after emergency services pulled his body from the water on a beach’s shore in Devon.

The victim, aged in his 40s, was pronounced dead at Breakwater beach in Brixham, Devon.

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Police were dispatched to the scene as they responded to reports of a missing diver, Devon Live reports.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: "Police were tasked to assist the coastguard at around 8.50pm last night, Tuesday March 16, after a report of a missing diver off the coast of Brixham.

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"A man in his 40s was recovered from the water and pronounced deceased. His death is not being treated as suspicious. His next-of-kin has been informed."

An eyewitness said: “There’s a large emergency service presence at Breakwater beach, Brixham.

"Both Devon air ambulance and Newquay coastguard helicopters attended.

"The Exeter-based Swast HART team are assisting SWAST ambulance along with Brixham lifeboat and coastguard teams."

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