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British woman killed in Malaysia after being hit by motorboat's propellers while snorkelling 'outside safe swimming zone'

Madaline Cole suffered extensive injuries to her body and legs and died before reaching hospital

A British woman has died in Malaysia after being struck by a passing boat’s propellers while snorkelling.

Madaline Cole, from Hereford, suffered extensive injuries to her body and legs after being hit by the boat while diving off the coast of Perhentian Besar in the South China Sea.

Local police said the 25-year-old died before reaching hospital, after being hit by a passing boat as she and three fellow divers surfaced.

22-year-old Simon Rogers, an Australian national, was injured in the accident, but is believed to have suffered minor wounds. He is recuperating in hospital.

Local police said the accident raised the question over whether the group should have been snorkelling in the area in the first place.

Police Superintendent Jamshah Mustafa said that, as far he could tell, the area was closed to swimmers at the time of the accident.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Superintendent Kamaruddin Mohammed Zakaria said: “The two victims and two other friends were diving outside the safe zone and were not wearing safety jackets”.

Perhentian Besar is part of the coral-fringed Perhentian island chain, located off the north east Malaysian coast of Terengganu state, close to the border with Thailand.