Missing South Devon wreck diver is named
AN EXPERIENCED diver missing off the South Devon coast has been named as 43-year-old Neil Hughes from Swansea.
Mr Hughes had been diving in Start Bay on Sunday when he failed to return to the surface.
An emergency search was launched around noon by coastguards from Brixham, with support from helicopters and other sea vessels.
But more than five hours later it was stood down, with no sign of Mr Hughes.
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The diver, whose partner Samantha Kiley is a volunteer on the Loughor inshore lifeboat in South Wales, had been diving on the wreck of the Benton Castle, an admiralty trawler sunk by a mine in October 1916.
A spokesman for the Loughor lifeboat crew said their thoughts were with Mr Hughes' partner.
Speaking to This Is South Wales he said: "It is an awful time for Sam and for Neil's family as they wait for news."
A spokesman for Brixham Coastguard said: "The diver was reported missing by crew on board the dive boat.
"They had searched the area for half an hour looking for the missing male diver before raising the alarm.
"Coastguard rescue teams performed shoreline searches."
A Mayday relay broadcast asking any vessels in the area to keep a lookout was also issued.
Watch manager David Colmer said: "Following a final sweep of the search area by the helicopter and lifeboats, the search for the missing diver has now been stood down, and the incident handed over to Devon and Cornwall police."