Andrew Kilbride, 49, had been undertaking trimix training off the coast near Mabini in the Batangas province of Luzon, as previously reported on Divernet.

Initial reports suggested that the dive had been to a depth of 100m, although descriptions of the site and the circumstances of the incident suggest that it  might have been considerably shallower.

Kilbride came from the Pacific island of Nauru but was said to have been living in the Philippines and working in an Internet-related business there for the past six years. He had been staying at the Aquaventure Reef Club, Anilao, with his partner and was diving with a French instructor, named as Daniel Borgaud.

Borgaud was reported to have been part of a dive-search team that eventually found Kilbride’s body at a depth of 72m, not far from the dive resort, on the afternoon of 5 May.

The two divers had become separated in strong currents about half an hour into their afternoon dive on 2 May.

According to a Coastguard statement, Kilbride’s wing BC had become detached from its backplate, at which point he had gone into an uncontrolled ascent from depth.

The instructor was said to have found Kilbride’s gas supplies depleted and to have shared his 25% travel gas with him, and it was suggested that he had controlled the trainee's ascent but that Kilbride had then become negatively buoyant. The two had been separated in the strong currents.

When Borgaud was eventually able to surface and report what had happened fellow-divers had carried out a two-hour search for Kilbride, but full-scale search operations began only at daybreak the following day, after the emergency services had been called in.

Philippine Coast Guard and Navy, Maritime Police, local fishermen and volunteer-divers had all taken part in searches, with adverse sea conditions hampering their efforts.

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