Two divers are missing feared dead after they failed to resurface from exploring sunk Royal Navy frigate off Cornwall

  • Two divers missing feared dead while exploring wreck off the coast of Cornwall
  • The pair were diving around the HMS Scylla and failed to resurface
  • Rescuers launched a major search operation off Whitsand Bay to find them 

Two divers are missing feared dead after they failed to resurface while exploring a Royal Navy wreck off the coast of Cornwall.

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

Rescuers launched a major search operation off Whitsand Bay into the early hours of Saturday morning to find them.

The pair were diving around the HMS Scylla, a Leander-class frigate which was sunk in March 2004 to create an offshore reef (pictured at Berkeley Sound near Port Stanley in 1986)

James Instance from the Falmouth Coastguard told the BBC they suspected the pair had died but that had not been confirmed. A member of the diving party had raised the alarm, he added.

‘We swang 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.’ 

Rescuers launched a major search operation off Whitsand Bay into the early hours of Saturday morning to find them (stock image of a coastguard helicopter.)

The Royal Navy frigate was scuttled in Whitsand Bay near Plymouth and has attracted thousands of divers to the area.

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

The rusting vessel had become the resting place for scallops, anemones and mussels after about three months, and after six months starfish and urchins had made it their new home in large numbers.

There are now about 250 species on the wreck. 

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