British diver dies helping to clear mines

A British diver has died while helping to clear mines from the port of Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.

Peter Rudorf, 25, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, was part of a team contracted by the American government to clear routes for ships into the port - the scene of early fighting involving British troops during the Iraq war.

The exact cause of his death is not known. Mr Rudorf was diving in front of dredgers moving debris and equipment from the waters.

He was employed by a firm based in Fareham, Hampshire, called Sub-Surface Engineering Ltd, which had been contracted as part of the project to make the port safe for ships to dock.

In a statement the company said: "The cause of death has not yet been confirmed and the company has instigated its own investigations into the cause and circumstances."

The company said it believed Mr Rudorf had fallen ill while diving and he had been transferred immediately to the Umm Qasr medical centre, where he received treatment, but was later pronounced dead.

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