A Chinese tourist died yesterday while snorkeling at Chaaya Lagoon Hakurahura Island Resort, less than a day after a German man also died in a snorkelling accident at Embudu Village Island Resort.
Police confirmed the 30 year old was visiting the Maldives from China on his honeymoon.
A senior staff member at the resort told Minivan News that the man died while snorkelling off a boat with his wife near the edge of the reef with a group of tourists, less than a kilometre from the resort’s jetty.
”After they finished snorkelling and everyone came aboard the boat, the boat crew noticed one man was missing,” the staff member said. “The crew immediately started searching for him and informed the hotel management and diving school.”
He said the man was eventually discovered by a team of three resort divers who had been sent out to search for him.
One of the divers told Minivan News that the man appeared to be dead when he was recovered from water.
”When we brought him up there was blood coming from his mouth,” the diver said.
He noted that when the diving team discovered the man he was holding his snorkel tube in his hand “but the mask was missing.”
The team pulled the man aboard the dive boat and attempted to resuscitate him, but he was not breathing.
The man was taken to Meemu Atoll Mulee Regional Hospital and doctors confirmed that he was dead when arrived.
Police sergeant Abdul Muhsin said the man was brought to Male’ today morning and placed in the mortuary. He said a team of police forensics specialists were now investigating the case.
The case is the second snorkelling fatality in as many days. The day prior, a 69 year old German man died while snorkelling at the Embudu Village Island Resort.
Permanent secretary for the Tourism Ministry Ahmed Solih said he would not comment on the cases but noted that the ministry was verifying that safety regulations were being followed by the resorts.
Sim Ibrahim Mohamed from the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) said the resorts needed to be more careful guiding snorkellers, particularly older divers.
The Maldivian resorts’ procedures for guiding and instructing snorkellers were very good, he explained.
”All the resorts have said they inform tourists about the nearby water conditions and tides, and they also tell them the do’s and dont’s.’ But they need to be more careful with old aged people,” Sim said.