A MAJOR search operation is continuing today after a diver failed to surface off the Dorset Coast.

Matthew Green, aged 33 and from Mudeford, went scallop diving 2.5km off the coast of Durdle Door on Tuesday.

He was due to resurface at around 12.20pm but failed to do so.

Coastguard, Dorset Police, RNLI volunteers and various shore-based teams searched a large area between Osmington and Kimmeridge after the alarm was raised.

Dorset Police said it is continuing efforts to locate Matthew and the Coastguard and RNLI are carrying out further searches today.

Matthew is around five feet ten inches tall, of slim build, with short blond hair, stubble and blue eyes.

He has a number of tattoos, including on his shoulder and arms and was wearing a black dry suit.

Two helicopters also took part in the multi-agency operation yesterday.

Swanage lifeboat was assigned to a ten square mile area south of Tyneham, just after 6pm. 

A Swanage RNLI spokesman explained: "After two hours of searching nothing had been found.

"The lifeboat was then asked to search close inshore from Lulworth Cove to Kimmeridge and proceeded slowly along the coast in failing light. Again with nothing found and now in growing darkness the UK Coastguard released the lifeboat and suspended the search.

"Our thoughts are with the diver’s family and friends at this time.

Chief Inspector Alan Setchell, of Dorset Police, said: “HM Coastguard and the RNLI continue to carry out extensive searches for Matthew and we are now leading the investigation and co-ordinating efforts to locate him.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have any knowledge as to Matthew’s whereabouts to contact police immediately.

“We would also like to hear for anyone who was out on the water in the area who recalls seeing a diver matching the description given and may have information that could help us.

“Officers are in regular contact with Matthew’s family, keeping them updated and supporting them.”

Anyone with information or knowledge as to Matthew’s whereabouts is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 24:330.