Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 18:12 UK

Tribute to dive death Met officer

Tributes have been paid to an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer who died while diving off the Sussex coast.

Det Sgt John Gilbert, 58, was one of two divers who got into difficulties while diving on Saturday.

Mr Gilbert, of Watford, was described by the Met Police, as a "gentle giant" and a "hard-working and highly professional" officer.

Both men were airlifted to Worthing Hospital by Solent Coastguard, where Mr Gilbert died.

The pair had been diving off Worthing from a boat called the Proteus, which is operated out of Littlehampton for hobby diving by the Metropolitan Police diving club.

'Sadly missed'

Mr Gilbert had worked in the Child Abuse Investigation Command.

Det Supt Reg Hooke, of the Met's child abuse investigation unit, said: "Standing 6ft and 3in tall, John was known among colleagues as their gentle giant.

"He was a hard-working and highly professional member of Edgware child abuse investigation team.

"John will be sadly missed by everyone who had the privilege of working alongside him - both within the Metropolitan Police Service and outside it."

Sussex Police said they were not treated his death as suspicious.

The other man who had to make a rapid ascent was released from hospital on Sunday.



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