British tourist dies while diving in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
PUBLISHED Fri, November 18, 2016 - 12:52am EST
A British tourist has died while diving at Agincourt Reef in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, officials say, just two days after the mysterious deaths of two French tourists who were snorkeling in the coral reef system. (more)
The latest incident happened just before 1 p.m. local time on Friday when a 60-year-old English man was diving at Agincourt Reef, which is about 70 kilometers northeast of Port Douglas or 71 kilometers northwest of Wednesday's incident.
"An English certified diver was seen to have his regulator out of his mouth while underwater on the ocean bottom, in 15 meters of water," said Col McKenzie, the executive director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO).
McKenzie said the diver, who was traveling with the dive boat Silver Sonic, was taken on board the vessel and CPR was performed. An emergency helicopter also responded and dropped a doctor on the vessel's helicopter pad to assist with the CPR, but the man was pronounced dead after an extended effort.
"Accidents like this are a tragedy for the surviving family members, the crew and the passengers," he said. Silver Sonic, which has operated for 11 years and has carried more than 230,000 divers during that time, had never before experienced a diving fatality.
The cause of the diver's death was not immediately known, but Friday's incident comes just two days after two elderly tourists from France suddenly died while snorkeling in shallow waters at Michaelmas Cay.
The two elderly swimmers died of apparent heart attacks but an investigation into the death is still underway, with some reports suggesting that Irukandji jellyfish could be responsible. Irukandji, which are about the size of a human's little fingernail, are one of the most venomous creatures on Earth.
The Great Barrier Reef, which is often referred to as 'one of the seven natural wonders of the world', is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and stretching over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) nearly parallel to the coast of Queensland.