Inquest hears how diver lost consciousness within seconds of entering water

A DIVER who died off the Dorset coast lost consciousness within seconds of entering the water, an inquest was told.

Michael John Skett, 52, from Wednesbury, had travelled to Dorset with members of a West Midlands-based dive club to explore the Aeolian Sky wreck on July 28 last year.

Skipper of the Swanage-based dive boat Viper Martin Jones, who had taken the 10 divers out, said there was something about Mr Skett’s manner that caused him to ask if he was OK.

He told the hearing at County Hall in Dorchester: “I thought maybe he was seasick – there was something that struck me about him at that time.

“He replied that he was OK.”

Mr Skett’s dive buddy Dereck Davis said his partner had been in ‘high spirits’ on the pier in Swanage but they had endured a choppy boat ride.

Mr Skett entered the water ahead of his dive buddy and Mr Davis said when he approached him a few moments later, he was face down in the water and not moving. Attempts to resuscitate Mr Skett proved in vain.

Pathologist Basil Purdue said the autopsy suggested Mr Skett had drowned and he could find no natural disease or underlying condition that could have triggered it.

Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded an open verdict. He said: “The indication seems to be there was some sort of medical event but one we cannot identify.”

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