Divers’ deaths: autopsies to be held Thursday

Three divers died in Gozo in two separate incidents on Tuesday

The Austrian diver died at Reqqa Point, near Zebbug.
The Austrian diver died at Reqqa Point, near Zebbug.

The autopsies on the three divers that died in two separate incidents on Tuesday are expected to be held tomorrow in the mortuary at the Gozo General Hospital.

The victims have been identified as Anton Potzcbauer, 64 from Austria, while the two Britons are 59-year-old Nigel Haines and Larissa Hooley, age not known.

Funeral arrangements for the three victims are still to be announced which will be held in their respective countries.

The three divers lost their lives while diving in Gozo in the space of just five hours. At around 4:20pm a group of divers, of whom at least three were British, were scuba diving in the vicinity of Dwejra when, due to rough seas, found themselves in difficulty.

Initially, two of the divers were brought to shore and were certified dead while a search went on for two more divers. A few minutes later, a third diver was also brought to shore and was rushed to Gozo General Hospital while the search continued for the fourth diver.

While the search was ongoing, news came in that the fourth diver was safe and sound. An AFM patrol boat together with an AFM Alouette helicopter and the Civil Protection Department took part in the search. 

Earlier in the day, the 64-year-old Austrian national died after finding himself in difficulties while diving at Reqqa Point, in Xwejni, limits of Żebbuġ in Gozo.

This tragedy brings the total of deaths by drowning to six this year. They were all of foreign nationality and five of the six died in Gozo.

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