Page last updated at 06:37 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 07:37 UK

Search for sea diver called off

An air and sea search for a missing diver in the Channel has been called off, coastguards have said.

The missing man, who was thought to be in his 60s, disappeared on Tuesday during a group dive at a wreck site, 22 miles north of Cherbourg, France.

On Wednesday morning Solent Coastguard confirmed the search had been terminated and there was no hope of finding the man.

Reports said the diver went missing and lost his buddy during a rapid ascent.

Helicopter scrambled

The search took place on the French side of the Channel.

Solent Coastguard received an alert from their French counterparts shortly before 1300 BST.

Seven divers had set off in a vessel named the Channel Diver from Brighton earlier in the day.

They went to Cherbourg and then headed to the wreck.

A coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire undertook two air searches of the area during the afternoon and evening on Tuesday, in case the missing diver had drifted from the site.

The operation, led by the French coastguard, was stood down shortly after 2200 BST.



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