THE rescue of a lone stranded diver in the ocean north of Bundaberg came after a large water and air search party battled rough seas and failing light.
It was getting dark as crews searched the ocean following a report to police that a diver was missing from an organised trip to the Althea Wreck just after 2pm on Tuesday.
Hervey Bay Water Police Senior Constable Joe Moran was part of the rescue effort in what he described as a race against time.
"It was getting dark … we were going off sound more than vision," Constable Moran explained.
The experienced diver, who was well-equipped, had surfaced and got caught in the current which swept him about 500 metres away from where he was reported missing.
The diver was spotted by the Bundaberg Careflight Rescue plane close to four hours after the team, which also included two Bundaberg VMR boats, was called out.
Constable Moran said they were given the co-ordinates from above as they raced in windy conditions, battling 15-20 knot winds.
Constable Moran and the crew heard the diver yelling out "I'm over here" as they reached the area.
When they pulled him on board, the diver was in good spirits.
"It was a sense of relief," Constable Moran said.
"Knowing we're returning a loved one back to their family alive is always a sense of achievement."
Constable Moran praised the joint efforts of the entire search and rescue team in difficult conditions.
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