A SCUBA diver was lucky not to be washed out through The Rip in strong currents last week. The 51-year-old, of Springvale, was diving alone north of Rye pier when he got into trouble, 3.20pm, Thursday 14 December. The alarm was raised by a friend on the beach.
“The Police Air Wing soon found the dive boat with the diver flag still flying, but no sign of the diver,” Senior Constable Paul O’Reagan said.
“We were able to contact Peninsula Aero Club and confirm fuel was available, and were able to extend the search until the diver was found. He was a long, long way from his boat.”
The chopper directed a boat to rescue the diver at 6pm. Sergeant Michelle Bradley, of Rosebud police, said he was taken to Rosebud Hospital suffering mild hypothermia.
The aero club’s Ian Johnson said that, in the two months since the helicopter refuelling depot had been commissioned at Tyabb, two lives had been saved because the police were able to refuel and extend the range of their water searches.