A MAN has died following a diving trip off Portland.

Dorset Police have confirmed the diver, who was pulled unconscious from the sea yesterday, sadly died in hospital.

A police spokesman said: "At 2.15pm on Thursday Dorset Police received a report from the coastguard about an emergency in relation to a diver. Officers assisted the other emergency services during with the incident.

"Very sadly the diver, a man aged in his 50s and from Eastleigh in Hampshire, was pronounced dead a short time later at Dorset County Hospital. His family has been informed and the coroner notified.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious."

Rescuers had jumped into action to try and save the diver who surfaced unconscious off Portland.

The diver was brought into Weymouth by the town's lifeboat yesterday where preparations were being made for a helicopter airlift.

Dive boat personnel and then lifeboat crew gave the diver CPR before other medics took over. 

Emergency services including the coastguard, ambulance and police were seen earlier at old ferry terminal behind the Pavilion where the diver was brought to.

The Devon air ambulance was also at the scene.

At around 1.50pm on Thursday, HM Coastguard said it received a Mayday call from a dive vessel reporting a diver in difficulty.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: "At around 1.50pm yesterday (11 July) HM Coastguard received a Mayday broadcast from a dive vessel reporting a diver in difficulty off the coast of Portland.

"HM Coastguard immediately issued a Mayday relay broadcast asking all vessels in the area if they could assist and they also sent Weymouth RNLI lifeboat, Wyke Coastguard Rescue Team and the Lee-on-Solent Coastguard helicopter, alongside an air ambulance and Dorset Police.

"The unwell diver was taken onboard the Lifeboat and he was then transferred to Dorchester Hospital via the air ambulance. The diver’s buddy was taken to hospital by land ambulance to be checked over."

A spokesman for Weymouth Lifeboat said: "Weymouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched shortly after 2pm on Thursday to reports of a diver who had surfaced unconscious and was on a dive vessel which then declared a Mayday. A Coastguard helicopter was also tasked by Solent Coastguard and a nearby warship was also alerted.

"On arrival the lifeboat came alongside the dive vessel and transferred the diver onto the lifeboat. CPR had been started on the diver whilst he was still on the dive boat and was continued by the lifeboat crew.

"When the helicopter arrived on scene the paramedic winchman was dropped onto the lifeboat to assess the condition of the diver. It was decided that the lifeboat would return to Weymouth with the diver still receiving first aid rather than transferring him up into the helicopter.

"On arrival back at Weymouth the lifeboat tied up at the old ferry terminal linkspan and the casualty was handed over to the care of a waiting ambulance.

"The lifeboat was then released and returned to station where she was refuelled and made ready for the next shout."

South Western Ambulance Service sent a land ambulance, an air ambulance and another resource to the scene.