Photo: ANA

Durban - A professional diver has gone missing in Durban harbour and has not been found despite an extensive search, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday.

NSRI Durban station commander Clifford Ireland said duty crew were activated at 6.05pm by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for assistance from Aquatech, reporting a diver missing in the Port of Durban.

It was believed that the diver went into the water to relieve another diver already underneath a ship during dive maintenance operations under the ship berthed in the port, he said.

After it appeared that the diver had not arrived to relieve his colleague underneath the ship, other Aquatech divers initiated a search at 5pm, and at 5.15pm raised the alarm, calling the TNPA port control.

The sea rescue craft Megan II was launched and the sea rescue vehicle was dispatched. The South African Police Service (SAPS), a police dive unit, and ER24 ambulance service had also been activated.

A police scuba dive unit launched a search and Aquatech divers joined the police divers in their search, while the NSRI sea rescue craft carried out a surface water search. No sign of the missing diver, aged 23, had been found and police divers would continue an ongoing search operation, Ireland said.

African News Agency (ANA)