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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Missing diver stranded on rocks
Matthew Harvey
Matthew Harvey: Exhaustion overcame him on struggle to shore
A diver who went missing off Guernsey for nearly three days, was stranded semi-conscious on rocks for two nights.

Matthew Harvey, 35, was hit by a boat after coming to the surface in Fermain Bay at 0900 BST on Saturday.

Knocked unconscious, he was taken miles out by the tide before he struggled to shore at Petit Port in the afternoon.

Mr Harvey, who is recovering at home, lay there semi-conscious until Monday when he swam to safety and was found by a yacht at about 1900 BST.

He was treated for exhaustion at Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Guernsey.

Map
An experienced scuba diver, Mr Harvey said he thought nothing of the dangers of being alone.

But as he surfaced, he was struck by a boat, losing his mask and his regulator which controls air supply from his tank.

He said in a statement to police: "I must have lost consciousness because the next thing I remember I was quite some distance offshore and caught in the tide running south/southwest past Jerbourg."

He ditched his weight belt and scuba tank and tried to swim across the current, but could not make headway until the tide turned.

Heading for the south coast he was completely exhausted when he reached land at what he thought was west of Petit Port on Saturday afternoon.

"I dragged myself ashore into a gulley and collapsed onto some rocks and presumably passed out," he said.

"I know now that I was among the rocks in the gulley for Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night, semi-conscious."

Waking up on Monday morning, he realised he had no energy to climb the cliffs and thought his best chance was to ride the tide back, in a north easterly direction, to Fermain Bay.

Lost consciousness

However, he had miscalculated his position, which was he later realised, east of Petit Port.

"When I struggled out into the tide no bay came into view," he said.

"Instead, to my horror, I was taken past Jerbourg again and out to sea in the other direction."

He was found around Anfre Rock by a yacht which was heading into St Peter Port Harbour.

Mr Harvey, a social history officer with the Guernsey Museum Service, said he would be personally thanking all those who were involved in the hunt for him.

Guernsey Police said they were not investigating the incident any further.


SEE ALSO
Diver survives three days at sea
05 Sep 06 |  Guernsey
Diver named as search continues
04 Sep 06 |  Guernsey

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