Diver survives 40 minutes in North Sea after air supply cuts off

Diver survives 40 minutes in North Sea after air supply cuts offStock photo: Alamy

A commercial diver survived 40 minutes 262ft under in the freezing North Sea after his air supply became severed, leaving him with just his emergency oxygen tank.

Chris Lemons, 32, managed to stay calm and still to conserve his air supply, but it was 38 minutes before colleagues found him and pulled him to the safety of a diving bell, by which time he had fallen unconscious, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Lemons and fellow divers from the Bibby Topaz support vessel were inspecting a drilling structure at the Huntington oil field off the coast of Aberdeenshire when the accident happened.

Following a problem with their boat's positioning system, it started drifting, causing Mr Lemon's "umbilical line" to sever.

A diving forum user described Mr Lemon as "very, very, very lucky" to have survived the incident, writing: "Chris, the diver in question, said he knew to try and conserve his gas even though he was freezing to death. He doesn't remember slipping into unconsciousness, it just happened...

"After two breaths by the bellman he started breathing on his own, he even stood up and out the way on his own steam to help in getting the bottom door down.

"Once his breathing was restored he recovered quite quickly, so they proceeded to start and warm him once the door was down and the bell was on its way up. (He was blue when they removed his hat).

"Chris has been very very very lucky. It brings it home just how quickly things can go pear-shaped."

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