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Diver Steve Barsky discovers human skull while diving at Lulworth Banks in Weymouth Bay
A DIVER has told of his shock after finding a human skull in the sea off the Dorset coast.
Steve Barsky came across the gruesome discovery while on a recreational dive at Lulworth Banks in Weymouth Bay.
The remains are believed to be those of Lieutenant Colonel Mary Ewing, the American soldier who disappeared in March 2011 after going diving off the Jurassic Coast.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said the matter has been passed to the US Military CID.
In another twist, Mr Barsky, of Dorchester Road, Weymouth, believes he sighted the body of Lt Col Ewing while on a dive a few months after her disappearance.
He said: “The mind boggles. I find it absolutely incredible that I’ve come across this twice now.
“To put it in perspective, while both sightings were quite close together, this is an area about the size of Portland.”
During the most recent dive on Saturday Mr Barsky put the skull in a bag to be retrieved by the skipper.
He said: “I kept calm and just sent it up. I know the skipper well – he has been involved in a number of searches for missing divers so he is not easily shocked.
“When you go diving a lot, these things happen.”
Portland Coastguard was informed over the radio and requested the dive boat go back to shore.
Mr Barsky was unable to retrieve the body during his first sighting in 2011 and though the search was reignited, nothing further was found until another dive in August last year, during which a headless body was retrieved.
Dorset Police said they were unable to confirm whether these were the remains of Lt Col Ewing, as the file has been passed to the US Military CID. A spokesman said yesterday that the coroner was informed of the discovery of the skull on Saturday but an inquest has not been opened and this is not a matter for the coroner.
He added: “We can confirm that on Saturday, September 7, a skull was located by a Weymouth diver who was carrying out a recreational dive on the Lulworth Banks. The skull was spotted in a scuba pro helmet and taken to his surface boat and reported.”
Lt Col Ewing was a mother and grandmother from Arab, Alabama, who was in the middle of a two-year deployment in the UK when she disappeared.
Her family had called for the search to be stepped up after she was reported missing during a dive.
A Dorset Police spokesman said the force was satisfied that all lines of inquiry were exhausted during and after the incident.
Mr Barsky added: “You’ve got to remember that when you’re diving visibility is only at about three metres.
“With your hood on you’re blinkered as well, so if you happen to be looking in the wrong direction, you can easily miss things.”
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