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26 April 2011, 10:24
The search for a diver who'd been missing off the Dorset coast since Thursday (21st April) has been called off.
61 year old Graham Packer, who was from the Bristol area, got into difficulties near Lyme Bay. Portland Coastguard received a call from his diving buddy when he failed to surface from a 22-metre dive. The diver who alerted police was airlifted to a specialist unit in Poole and was treated with oxygen at the scene after having to make a rapid ascent.
The search for Mr Packer took place around the site of the dive for 10 hours on Sunday. 10 search dives were carried out to confirm human size objects on the seabed. The analysis of the sonar data and topography went on into the small hours of Sunday morning before the search recommenced on Monday.
The search area covered a square kilometre around the dive site and concluded with a drift dive over the location of the incident. Despite the detailed search of a large area over a protracted period, the missing man could not be found. The search has now been called off.
Mr Packer's family have been kept informed throughout the search and are being supported by a Dorset police family liaison officer.
D.I Stewart Dipple said, "It is with great sadness that the search has been concluded without success. All of those involved in the joint operation were totally committed to locating Graham Packer and bringing him home to his family in order to provide closure on where their love one is. I am grateful for the considerable efforts and dedication of the crew of the wey chieftain and Dorset police's marine support unit".