Diving instructor held after Rebecca Gannon dies in front of BF while wreck diving

The diving instructor Kushova managed to pull Rebecca Gannon out to the surface, but she could not be saved

Diving instructor held after Rebecca Gannon dies in front of BF while wreck diving
Saimir Kushova is being held on suspicion of violating work health and safety rules (Saimir Kushova/Facebook)
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SARANDA, ALBANIA: A British holidaymaker tragically drowned in front of her boyfriend off the coast of Albania, following which a diving instructor was arrested. 29-year-old Rebecca Gannon was with her boyfriend during the trip on Monday, September 19, with a group of seven other divers. During the scuba diving, instructor Saimir Kushova, 45, jumped into the water in an attempt to save her when she seemed to face some difficulty. He managed to pull her out to the surface, but she could not be saved. The group was diving into the wreck of an Italian cargo ship that had sunk during World War Two.

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Gannon's boyfriend, who remains unnamed, watched as other instructors tried to save her, but in vain. The body was carried from a boat at Saranda on the southern Albanian coast, where paramedics were waiting. "We really don't know what happened and are waiting for the police to finish the investigation," Gerta Brozi who was on the boat and is co-owner of the Spiranca Diving Centre told MailOnline. "The British woman who died was here with her boyfriend and the both had PADI open water certificates so they were both fully qualified to dive with us."

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Brozi added, "She had been in the water for ten minutes and then she got into difficulty, there had been an issue with a regulator before but it was changed and was working fine. The next thing we knew Saimir had spotted she was in trouble and dived in to try and rescue her. Saimir did all he could, he brought her to the surface and then he did CPR on her as the boat went back to the shore where the paramedics were waiting."

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"It was a very traumatic experience and the boyfriend was very upset by it, as was everyone else on the boat. We just don't know what happened," Brozi recalled. "The wreck they were diving to isn't particularly deep only seven to eight meters so it is not a very difficult dive. We are waiting for the results of the autopsy and Saimir is with the police." 

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Spiranca Diving Centre's website says of Kushova, "With an outstanding experience of 20 years as a Diver (CMAS/PADI) certified, Saimir will be more than happy to be your instructor and make your diving amazing!" Reportedly, Kushova is being held on suspicion of violating work health and safety rules. He is also accused of illegally employing a dive instructor who was not fully qualified.

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Talking about their work, the website says, "Our dive center is staffed and equipped to handle up to 20 divers per day. We have the latest dive equipment and compressors (air only). We also have our own boats enabling us to access the best off shore dive sites. Dedicating our services to smaller groups enables us to focus more attention on our clients’ specific needs and requirements, committing more time to each guest and guaranteeing a higher quality of service from our experienced and friendly team."

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