Warning after bends divers rescued in Dorset and Monmouthshire

Divers are being warned to be careful when surfacing after four had to be treated for the bends within minutes of each other on Sunday.

A 38-year-old man was rescued off West Bay, Dorset, and three divers became ill while diving in a quarry at Chepstow, Monmouthshire.

All four divers were admitted to the recompression chamber in Poole, Dorset.

Portland Coastguard said it dealt with 40 cases of decompression illness in divers last year.

The West Bay diver is said to have made a rapid ascent from the water prior to being recued at about 13:00 BST.

Maddy Davey, Portland Coastguard watch manager, said: "The most common diving incident we had in 2012 was decompression illness with 40 recorded incidents.

"Divers should make sure they are adequately qualified and experienced for the dive they plan to undertake, keeping a close eye on weather and sea conditions, and making their own personal fitness a top priority for safe diving.

"You should also familiarise yourself with new or different gear before planning deep dives and to always dive within your limits."

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