British man dies while scuba diving on Great Barrier Reef in third fatality in three days

Death comes after two elderly French tourists died while snorkelling on the reef

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The Independent Online

A British man has died while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef in the third death in as many days in waters surrounding the natural wonder.

The 60-year-old man was diving on Agincourt Reef near the popular tourist resort of Port Douglas when emergency services were called on Friday.

He was rescued from the water after being seen with his breathing regulator out of his mouth, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators said.

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The great Barrier Reef (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The company’s executive director, Col McKenziem said: “After an extended effort with no response, the diver was declared dead.”

He had been a passenger on a Quicksilver tour boat and was diving with another person for the second time that day, when he was found on the ocean floor at a depth of 15m.

A doctor who was flown to the reef gave the man CPR on the Silver Sonic vessel and used a defibrillator, but he could not be resuscitated.

Mr McKenzie said: “Accidents like this are a tragedy for the surviving family members, the crew and the passengers.”

The Silver Sonic has operated for 11 years, carrying 230,000 divers without a fatality, according to local authorities.

The man, a certified diver from England, was travelling with his wife.

His death came after two French tourists – Jacques Goron, 76, and Danielle Franck, 74 – died while snorkelling on Michaelmas Cay, near Cairns, on Wednesday.

They were spotted floating in the water by staff working for diving company Passions of Paradise, chief executive Scotty Garden said.

The couple, among a French group of 21 people, had “pre-existing medical conditions and were accompanied by a guide when they were in the water”, he added.

Queensland Police said their deaths were not believed to be suspicious, with a cardiologist telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation jellyfish stings may have triggered cardiac arrest.

Additional reporting by agencies

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