A DIVER who went missing for 10 hours before being found alive was

dragged away from his companions by a conger eel, police revealed


Mr Cameron Bell, 32, was found semi-conscious and exhausted on the

shore of Loch Long on Thursday morning as emergency services were

beginning to fear he had drowned. He was taken by ambulance under police

escort to a decompression chamber at the Royal Navy submarine base at

nearby Faslane.

The diving instructor and three companions had been doing a late-night

dive off Ardgarten Point, near Arrochar, Dunbartonshire, when he went

missing. The others saw his torch go out and come back on again, but

found it was shining on the bed of the loch and there was no sign of Mr


Yesterday, as the diver recovered at home, police told how a conger

eel, entangled in a length of fishing line, had been disturbed by the

light of his torch. The giant eel had darted out at the diver, who was

caught in the line and dragged backwards at high speed, deeper under the


Chief Inspector Mike Deans, based at Helensburgh police station, said

a statement had been taken from Mr Bell shortly after he came around in

the decompression chamber.

He said: ''Mr Bell said it was a 6ft conger eel, which had a massive

fishing line attached to it. It came out from behind some rocks and the

line caught him around the head and he was dragged away at very high

speed. He managed to cut himself free and broke to the surface. He was

disorientated and cannot remember anything after that.''

As reported in The Herald yesterday, Mr Bell still had his knife in

his hand when he was discovered on a lochside road by a passing cyclist

on Thursday morning. A police underwater team, inshore lifeboat,

Ministry of Defence police launches, a Royal Navy rescue helicopter, and

coastguard auxiliaries had all spent hours searching for the diver.

After being treated by doctors at Faslane, Mr Bell was transferred to

the Vale of Leven Hospital at Alexandria for overnight observation.

Yesterday morning, he returned to Faslane for further examination by

doctors there before being discharged. A spokesman at the base said it

was possible that Mr Bell would return there in a month for a check-up.

After leaving Faslane, Mr Bell returned to his home in Moray Place,

Strathbungo, Glasgow, but declined to talk to reporters about his