Longden was a member of Bolton Area Divers, a PADI 5* IDC where he had learned to dive, and is understood to have been part of a group of about 20 members of the club on a holiday trip.

At around mid-day Longden was shore-diving with a buddy at Cirkewwa, near the ferry port in the north of Malta, and was said to have begun to struggle, at which point he was brought ashore by other divers.

He was declared dead after being taken to Mater Dei Hospital, as previously reported on Divernet.

According to a report in the Manchester Evening News, Longden had been a Station Commander at Bollington’s fire station with a reputation for civic duty.

He  was said to have “worked tirelessly” on a campaign to install potentially life-saving defibrillators throughout the town, and had received a Civic Award in 2016 for his services to the community.

Malta police have been investigating his death, and a case file is understood to have been passed to the Cheshire Coroner for initial investigation. Longden’s body has now been returned to the UK, but no date has yet been set for an inquest.

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