"Missing" Hero Diver = Spoof!

This has to be one of the biggest spoofs I've seen:

'Missing' diver took ferry to UK

The diver said he was knocked out after being hit by a boat
A diver whose disappearance sparked a major three-day search off Guernsey had actually been on a ferry trip to the UK, police have revealed.
Matthew Harvey, 35, went missing from Fermain Bay on Saturday and was picked up by a yacht nearby on Monday.

His claim to have been knocked unconscious and stranded on rocks for two nights was widely reported.

In a statement, police said he had been in the UK while he was missing. Mr Harvey was unavailable for comment.

Chief Inspector Ruari Hardy of Guernsey Police told the BBC that Mr Harvey got on a ferry on Saturday lunchtime and returned on Monday evening, about an hour and a half before he was found by a yacht crew in the sea off Fermain Bay.

Mr Harvey claimed that he had been swept by tides along the coast

He said: "A member of the public contacted us and we were then able to establish that he had been in the UK and we were able to track his movements."

Mr Harvey has been interviewed by police, but no decision has been taken on whether any action will be taken against him.

It is understood that the search operation to rescue Mr Harvey cost at least £10,000.

Search co-ordinator, Capt Peter Gill, said: "Whatever annoyance I might have is tempered with sympathy for his family."

At the time of the incident there were several hundred people searching for Mr Harvey, including teams from the RNLI and coastguards as well as friends and family.

Capt Gill said: "The most important thing is that no life was lost. That's the most important thing.

"We would not want this sort of story to prevent anyone being involved in search and rescue in the future."

Mr Harvey's family have also been unavailable for comment

BBC New Guernsey

The three day search operation cost over £1000, and he was a spoof all along.....This was his first comments after the alleged incident took place - he might want to change them now :D

Missing diver stranded on rocks

Matthew Harvey: Exhaustion overcame him on struggle to shore
A diver who went missing off Guernsey for nearly three days, was stranded semi-conscious on rocks for two nights.
Matthew Harvey, 35, was hit by a boat after coming to the surface in Fermain Bay at 0900 BST on Saturday.

Knocked unconscious, he was taken miles out by the tide before he struggled to shore at Petit Port in the afternoon.

Mr Harvey, who is recovering at home, lay there semi-conscious until Monday when he swam to safety and was found by a yacht at about 1900 BST.

He was treated for exhaustion at Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Guernsey.

An experienced scuba diver, Mr Harvey said he thought nothing of the dangers of being alone.

But as he surfaced, he was struck by a boat, losing his mask and his regulator which controls air supply from his tank.

He said in a statement to police: "I must have lost consciousness because the next thing I remember I was quite some distance offshore and caught in the tide running south/southwest past Jerbourg."

He ditched his weight belt and scuba tank and tried to swim across the current, but could not make headway until the tide turned.

Heading for the south coast he was completely exhausted when he reached land at what he thought was west of Petit Port on Saturday afternoon.

"I dragged myself ashore into a gulley and collapsed onto some rocks and presumably passed out," he said.

"I know now that I was among the rocks in the gulley for Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night, semi-conscious."

Waking up on Monday morning, he realised he had no energy to climb the cliffs and thought his best chance was to ride the tide back, in a north easterly direction, to Fermain Bay.

Lost consciousness

However, he had miscalculated his position, which was he later realised, east of Petit Port.

"When I struggled out into the tide no bay came into view," he said.

"Instead, to my horror, I was taken past Jerbourg again and out to sea in the other direction."

He was found around Anfre Rock by a yacht which was heading into St Peter Port Harbour.

Mr Harvey, a social history officer with the Guernsey Museum Service, said he would be personally thanking all those who were involved in the hunt for him.

Guernsey Police said they were not investigating the incident any further.

BBC News Guernsey
I know the feeling!

My police dive unit, myself included spent four days, grubbing around the bottom of a local lake (Washington State) looking for a man, who disappeared, after testing and crashing his small hydroplane boat.

The lake was spring fed and very cold and the visability was not good. Of course we had no idea, where he may have gone down for sure. The diving conditions were miserable!

Later that year, it was discovered that this @#@@# man had planed to disappear and the whole thing was an insurance fraud and he was living in New York.

We all, would have liked to place him on the bottem of that lake!

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