Man airlifted to hospital after diving on Lusitania wreck

Diver taken to Galway facility after falling ill on return to surface off coast of Kinsale

The wreck of Cunard liner RMS Lusitania lies some 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale. File photograph: PA Wire

The wreck of Cunard liner RMS Lusitania lies some 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale. File photograph: PA Wire

 

A diver has been airlifted to University Hospital Galway after getting into difficulty while diving with a group on the wreck of the Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale on Thursday morning.

It is understood that the diver took ill while returning to the surface after diving on the wreck of the Cunard liner which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915.

He was one of a group of eight who were diving on the wreck which lies some 18km off the coast of Co Cork.

Other members of the group, who were diving from the charter boat Sea Hunter, raised the alarm and brought the man to the surface at around 10am.

The Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Valentia began a rescue operation and Courtmacsherry RNLI launched a life boat.

The Irish naval ship LÉ George Bernard Shaw, which was on patrol in the area, also proceeded to the scene and a team from the ship collected the diver and brought him aboard the ship.

Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter R116 flew him to Cork University Hospital for treatment.

It is believed the man was suffering from the bends or decompression sickness which happens when divers ascend too quickly from great depths and can result in nitrogen bubbles forming in the blood.

The man was subsequently airlifted from CUH to University Hospital Galway which is equipped with a decompression unit.