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Sick diver’s 90-minute wait after helicopter is axed

Skipper: Ian Taylor

A DIVER with breathing problems waited 90 minutes to be rescued just 24 hours after the coastguard helicopter was axed to cut costs.

The unnamed man was diving off a boat in Portland, Dorset, on Saturday when he became unwell. Skipper Ian Taylor called the coastguard at 1.40pm but the helicopter did not arrive until 3.10pm.

At the same time, a farewell ceremony for the axed helicopter was taking place in the town. Mr Taylor said: ‘It’s a shambles. They can’t cope.’

The helicopter that arrived came from Wales. Dorset is now covered from Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire.

The diver was taken to hospital in Poole, where he is being treated.