A former diving instructor, who was once rescued by a lifeboat crew, has joined the volunteer RNLI team in west Dorset.

Paul Carey, 61, moved to Lyme Regis from Sussex this year and has joined the management team at the town’s lifeboat station as a deputy launching authority (DLA).

Paul, who started diving at 14 - soon after he learnt to swim - was rescued with his dive ‘buddy’ after they surfaced only to find their dive boat had disappeared.

Paul said: “We were in the water for 45 minutes with waves of three feet. The dive boat reported us missing and we were very relieved when the RNLI arrived.”

As a qualified lifesaving examiner, boat handler and VHF radio tutor, Paul also taught diving at Poole Dive Centre.

Paul, who worked with adults with learning difficulties in Sussex for 20 years, said: “I will never forget my gratitude at being rescued by the RNLI, and when we moved to Lyme Regis I thought here was the ideal opportunity to give something back by volunteering.”

Paul and his wife Karen have three children, twins Lucy and Anna, 24, and Timothy, 26.