Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 15:25 UK

Man dies after island wreck dive

One of the ship's cannons on the seabed
All diving on the wreck has been suspended

A diver has died shortly after resurfacing from the wreck of an Elizabethan gunship off Alderney.

Alderney Maritime Trust said the man died "suddenly and unexpectedly" when he fell ill after completing his dive on Sunday.

A lifeboat took the unconscious man ashore at Bray Harbour after the diving support vessel made a distress call.

Rescuers' resuscitation attempts failed and the man was pronounced dead. All diving on the wreck has been suspended.

Wreck survey

It will not resume until a police investigation into the death is concluded.

The diver is believed to have been a Channel Island resident in his mid-50s.

He had been working on a survey of the wreck, which was part of an operation to recover two cannon from the vessel being carried out by the Alderney Maritime Trust.

Marine archaeologists started the excavation work in May.

The ship went down off Alderney, which is 23 miles away from Guernsey and the third largest of the Channel Islands, in 1592.

It was carrying a military cargo when it sank and was discovered by a fisherman in 1977.

The Alderney Maritime Trust said: "Members met this morning to jointly express their deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The trust gives their thanks to the emergency services for their prompt response and assistance.

"The trust hopes that the police and coroner's investigations will be completed in time for the proposed raising of the two cannon, and their subsequent exhibition in the Tower of London to continue as planned."

Shipwreck cannon recovery starts
26 May 08 |  Guernsey
Trust appeals for shipwreck funds
19 May 07 |  Guernsey
Record wreck 'found off Cornwall'
19 May 07 |  Cornwall

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