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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
'Lucky escape' for injured diver
Suzanne Barnes
Suzanne Barnes plans to dive again once she is fully recovered
A woman hit by a 42m long tug boat while diving in the English Channel has said she is lucky to be alive.

Suzanne Barnes, 37, from Ashford in Kent, suffered broken ribs and a badly bruised lung in last month's accident a few miles off the coast of Hythe.

She was with a group heading for the wreck Pomerania when she was hit by the Belgian registered tug, The Boxer.

The skipper of the dive boat Taurus pulled her from the water before the Dover Lifeboat took her to the shore.

The Belgian registered tug, The Boxer
The boat was said to have been sailing in the wrong place

The accident happened in an inshore zone of the Dover Strait, which is usually reserved for vessels of 20m unless special permission has been granted.

Ms Barnes said she first knew something had happened when she felt "an incredible shudder" come over her.

"The shot line was ripped out of my hand and I felt a huge impact on my right side, and was tumbling through the water."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has launched an inquiry into what happened and why the boat was in the zone.

However, Ms Barnes said she hoped she would still be able to dive once she had fully recovered from her injuries.

"You have to consider the chances of this ever happening again, and it's so minute that I hope very much that it's not put me off and I'm going to get back in there quite quickly," she said.




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