Leicester

Two divers die in a month at Stoney Cove in Leicestershire

Stoney Cove
Image caption Two divers got into difficulty on Sunday at Stoney Cove in Leicestershire

Two men have died in just over a month at a popular diving spot.

One man, from London, died and another was airlifted to hospital after they got into difficulties while diving at Stoney Cove scuba diving centre, Leicestershire, on Sunday.

Diving instructor Gary Merrell, 50, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, died on 22 March at the dive centre, between Stoney Stanton and Sapcote.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in either death.

In a statement Stoney Cove, which describes itself as the UK's most popular inland scuba diving centre, said a group of qualified divers from a London dive club went into the water on Sunday.

"They were not under instruction or under the supervision of Stoney Cove," it said.

"During the dive one of the divers experienced some difficulty and his buddies assisted him to the surface. On reaching the surface the divers called for help and Stoney Cove's Rescue Team responded immediately."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stoney Cove said the diver who died on Sunday was experienced

A spokeswoman for East Midlands Ambulance Service, which attended the scene, said one diver, who was out of the water in a critical condition, was taken to Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital by air ambulance.

The missing diver was found dead in the water 40 minutes later.

Garry Merrell, who was a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer at Stoney Cove, died on 22 March after getting into difficulty during a training dive, the centre said.

Staff said he was a "highly qualified and very experienced diving professional", who was "loved and respected by all" at the centre.

The name of the man who died on Sunday has not yet been released.

The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware and making initial enquiries.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Diving instructor Garry Merrell died on 22 March at Stoney Cove

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