Additional reporting by Leah Malone
The dead body of a foreign national has been found washed up on the west shore of Dhiffushi Island in Kaafu Atoll, police have confirmed.
Police stated that the body of a caucasian male was found at about 1:23pm this afternoon (June 5), and a team of officers had been dispatched to the island.
A Police Spokesperson confirmed the incident had occurred and referred Minivan News to the Police Duty Officer hotline, which was switched off at time of press.
Dhiffushi Island Council President Hussein Rabeeu told Minivan News a group of islanders had noticed this afternoon that something was drifting towards the beach on the west side of the island.
Rabeeu said he was called by the islanders when the object came close enough to be identified as a dead body.
“I called the police who said they are on their way and asked us not to touch it,” he said.
“But a while later two American tourists from nearby Meerufenfushi Island Resort swam to the island and said the dead body was the third person who was with them.”
According to Rabeeu, the two tourists swam to the island from a nearby resort looking for their friend.
“They told us that they went out snorkeling and hit a storm, and lost one of their number. They confirmed it was the body of the person they were looking for,” he said.
“Now the management of the resort is also here and have confirmed the body is of a guest staying at the resort.”
Rabeeu said the dead man was wearing snorkelling gear when he was found. Local media published pictures of the body showing a man with dark hair and wearing blue swimming trunks.
Meeru Island Resort and Spa said it was unable to make a statement at time of press.
“Our general manager is very busy handling the case at the moment and is unable to take calls,” Meeru Island Resort and Spa Secretary Sherlyn Mauricio told Minivan News.
“We do not have the full details and are still dealing with the incident, so we are not allowed to say anything at this time.”
The US Embassy was unable to confirm the nationality of the deceased at time of press.
“Our consular staff are looking into the incident. Out of respect for the individual’s privacy we cannot share anything further at this time,” US Embassy official Chris Elms told Minivan News.