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Rescuers lose battle to save diver

A diver died on a beach in front of a coastguard station despite desperate efforts to save her, it emerged today.

The woman, in her mid-40s, was pulled from the water last night around 200 yards from the Forth Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Fifeness, on the east coast of Scotland.

One of her colleagues rushed in diving gear straight to the building and started banging on the door and shouting for help.

A coastguard ran to the scene after the alert at around 8.30pm yesterday and a helicopter was scrambled minutes later, but the diver was declared dead after being flown to hospital.

It is thought there was some kind of difficulty with the woman's equipment, which possibly led to a panic attack. Colleagues tried to revive her on the beach.

Simon Smart, watch officer at Forth Coastguard, said: "We could see the group on the shore. But the first we were aware was somebody banging at the door.

"It would seem it's been a tragic accident."

The woman, thought to be from the Tayside area, was taken to Dundee's Ninewells Hospital.

Fife Police are investigating the incident on behalf of the Procurator Fiscal.

Bob Abercrombie, watch manager at Forth, said: "As soon as we were alerted to this incident, rescue resources were sent to the scene and despite the best efforts of all involved, sadly this diver has died.

"We are assisting Fife police in the conduct of their inquiries."