The boyfriend of a young woman who died while scuba diving in Europe has made a devastating new claim in the wake of the tragedy.
Rebecca Gannon, 29, from Staffordshire in the UK, was diving off the coast of Albania as part of a group on Monday when she got into trouble.
But her partner of four years, Robert Kerans, who was with her at the time, said issues started before they got into the water in Saranda.
“There must have been about 12 of us all together and there were three instructors, one of whom spoke very good English and who I know now is Gerta Brozi,” he said in a statement as reported by the Daily Mail.
“She checked the equipment but she didn’t seem to pay much attention.
“I know that there was a problem with Rebecca’s regulator but Gerta said it had been solved.”
It’s since been alleged that Ms Brozi wasn’t qualified as a dive instructor.
The owner of Spiranca Diving Centre, 45-year-old Saimir Kushova, has since been arrested on suspicion of violating work health and safety rules.
'We don't know what happened'
Mr Kerans, who holds a PADI diving certificate just like Ms Gannon, said they went into the water but he didn’t know if the problem had been fixed.
The group went on to explore the wreck of an Italian cargo ship that had sunk during World War II.
But with poor visibility, Mr Kerans said he couldn’t see his girlfriend and didn’t realise something was wrong until he surfaced 25 minutes later and spotted a police boat.
“We don’t know what happened,” an employee at the dive company told The Telegraph.
“She was diving on a shipwreck but was only at a depth of seven or eight metres so it was not a very challenging dive.
“She came to the surface but then went down for some reason.”
The employee said Mr Kushova dived in and managed to pull Ms Gannon onto the boat where he carried out CPR, as the boat raced back to shore where paramedics were waiting.
While authorities wait for the results of an autopsy, Ms Gannon's cause of death is not yet clear.
A family devastated
The family of Ms Gannon are trying to come to terms with their loss.
“It is devastating, we are heartbroken,” her sister Sam told the Daily Mail.
“She’s my little sister, I can’t believe it.”
In sharing a tribute online, support poured in for Sam and her family.
“I can’t comprehend this very sad news,” one person wrote.
“Gorgeous Becci didn’t deserve this and nor did the gorgeous Gannon family,” another said. “My thoughts are with you all.”
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