A diving instructor has been arrested after a young British woman was killed in a diving accident off the coast of Albania.
The 29-year-old victim was diving with her boyfriend on a World War II cargo ship wreck off Saranda, a resort on the southern coast of Albania, not far from the Greek island of Corfu.
He reportedly got into trouble underwater, though the cause of his death was not immediately clear.
A video posted on an Albanian news website showed seven people removing a body from a red and white dive boat and carrying it to a beach, with the assistance of a paramedic.
Police arrested the instructor in charge of the diving trip, identified as Saimir Kushova, 45.
He is being investigated for charges including violating workplace health and safety regulations and illegally employing a dive instructor who was not fully qualified.
The British woman and her boyfriend were among eight tourists on the dive boat on Monday when the accident occurred.
They were reportedly diving the wreckage of the Probitas, an Italian merchant ship that sank in Saranda Bay after being bombed during World War II. The ship lies on its port side on the sandy bed of the bay, some 300 yards from shore.
“We don’t know what happened,” an employee of the diving company Spiranca Diving told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
We’re waiting for the autopsy. We are all very shocked. She was a qualified open water diver, PADI certified, as was her boyfriend.
“I was diving a wreck, but it was only seven or eight meters deep, so it wasn’t a very challenging dive. She surfaced but then sank for some reason.
“Saimir has been arrested but he was the one who tried to rescue her, he gave her CPR on the boat.”
Spiranca Diving Center has been in operation since 2010. The company says it offers “a more personalized and intimate experience for experienced divers and beginners alike. Our own passion for diving is reflected in our commitment to ensuring that our guests enjoy the best diving experience in a fun and relaxed environment. We have the latest diving equipment and compressors.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman who died in Albania and are in contact with the local authorities.”
Saranda is popular with divers and famous for its underwater visibility, which ranges from 15 meters to 30 meters.
In nearby Ksamili, divers can explore six former Albanian navy ships that authorities deliberately scuttled 20 years ago to create a diving park.
The boats are found at depths ranging from 18 meters to 30 meters.
The Rough Guide describes Saranda as “perhaps Albania’s most attractive entry point.
“A recent building boom has eroded some of the city’s original elegant atmosphere, but it’s still a great place to kick back, stroll along the waterfront and watch the sun go down over cocktails. There are beaches in the town, but the ones near Ksamili, about 20 km to the south, are better.”