The body of a well-known diver who went missing off the Dorset coast has been found after two months 400-miles away off the Dutch coast.

Alan Dunster, a 63-year-old retired fireman from Horton Hill in Ewell, was found by a Dutch fishing vessel on September 23.

His body is believed to have been trawled up in a fishing net 12-miles off the coast.

An experienced diver and wreck enthusiast, Mr Dunster had been diving in depths up to 55 metres exploring the wreck of a steam yacht 13 miles south-east of Portland Bill on July 22.

He became separated from his fellow divers and when they surfaced Mr Dunster was nowhere to be seen.

An emergency call was made from their dive boat, Skindeeper, at about 11am and a search was launched by the Portland Coastguard, however it was called off the next day when no sign of him was found.

A spokesperson for the Netherlands Coastguard said today: "A body was found by a Dutch fishing vessel on September 23 at 8.45am, UK time.

"They knew it was a diver because he still had the bottle still on his back.

"The body was taken to the hospital in Haarlem Hospital for investigation and it has since been handed over to the police in the UK."

A member of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club for more than 30 years, Mr Dunster was known as Uncle Al and the Wreck Detective by fellow members after his explorations of shipwrecks.

One of the greatest treasures he found diving was a Salvation Army 1917 tuba, part of a cargo on the Steamship Shirala on route from London to Bombay which sank in 1918.

Gerry Hassell, president of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club, said: "For all concerned we are extremely happy he’s been found as that gives closure for his family.

"He was very well known person within the diving world.

"His whole diving life was the discovery of new wrecks, researching them and forming a library.

"He was a very experienced diver and a unique character."

Speaking of the day that Mr Dunster went missing, Mr Hassell said: "He was reported to have felt unwell the day before.

"My assumption is that it may have been something like a heart attack.

"On the basis that he was an experienced diver we would assume that it was a non related diving incident."

Mr Dunster was not married and had lived in Epsom for more than 35 years.

The family has been informed, but has asked for its privacy to be respected.

An inquest to determine the cause of Mr Dunster’s death is expected to be called.