Missing Brit diver, 67, found dead two days after disappearing off the coast of Spain
A BRIT diver who disappeared on Thursday off the coast of south-east Spain has been found dead.
Police divers located Phillip Evans’ body on day two of a major sea and air search late on Friday near Hormigas Islands marine reserve.
The find was confirmed by Francisco Jimenez, a central government delegate for the region.
Jimenez said: “The body of the British diver who disappeared on Thursday has been located 170 feet underwater in the Hormigas Islands area.
“We regret this tragic outcome.”
A local dive school raised the alarm around midday on Thursday after former Armed Forces veteran Mr Evans, from Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, disappeared.
Two helicopters were immediately mobilised as part of a major air and sea search which included vessels belonging to the Spanish Navy, coastguards and Red Cross.
Expert Civil Guard divers, who ended up finding 69-year-old Mr Evans’ body, were also brought in.
A regional government representative for the area said shortly after the alarm was raised: “All the state’s resources have been activated in the search for this British national, a former member of the military who disappeared while he was diving north of the Hormigas Islands in Cabo de Palos.”
Mr Evans’s body is already thought to have been brought ashore, although there was no immediate confirmation this morning from local authorities.
The dead man is understood to have been an experienced diver.
He praised the dive school he was on an excursion with – Club de Buceo Islas Hormigas dive school – on Facebook after a trip with them in 2017.
He called them the “friendliest club in the area” and said he had dived with them for many years.
A local investigating judge is now expected to be tasked with a probe into the circumstances surrounding Mr Evans’ death.
Officials had admitted on Friday the chances of finding the Scot alive were slim.
A neighbour of the missing man in Balmedie was quoted as saying: “It’s a terrible shame. None of us round here can believe it, really.
“We’re all just in absolute shock, it’s awful.”
Cabo de Palos is next to the popular holiday destination of La Manga, around 20 miles from the town of Cartagena.
It is popular with scuba diving fans as its sea bed is one of the most important nature reserves in the Mediterranean.
Hormigas Islands are two and a half miles from the coast.
The sea bed there is considered one of the best scuba diving sites in Spain and has been designated an Integral Marine Reserve for its beauty and excellent state of conservation.
As well as the remains of shipwrecks and sunken boats, it is also home to reefs and deep underwater corral.
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