English: Royal Gibraltar Police Marine Section...

English: Royal Gibraltar Police Marine Section Semi-Rigid Inflatable (RIB) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The body of 21-year Kyle Bagu was recovered from the sea yesterday morning after an extensive night-long search by emergency services from both sides of the border.

Mr Bagu went missing on Wednesday evening while free diving with friends off the South Mole.

His body was found on the seabed just off the South Mole, the Royal Gibraltar Police said in a statement.

The RGP together with other agencies worked through the night to try and find the missing man after the alarm was raised by two fellow divers at around 9pm.

But difficult conditions and poor visibility meant the search had to be limited to the shoreline and the surface for the duration of the night.

Emergency services personnel scoured the shoreline and the bay in the hope of spotting Mr Bagu. At one point a Spanish helicopter provided additional cover from the air, but it was all in vain.

It was only after dawn that divers were able to resume scouring the seabed.

By this time local emergency services had been joined by volunteer divers. The Guardia Civil also despatched a team of its own divers to assist in the search.

One local volunteer said that even after so many hours, they never gave up hope of finding Mr Bagu alive.

But alas it was not to be and at around 9am, just 15 minutes after divers had gone back into the sea to look for him, his body was found a short distance from the South Mole.

The Coroner was informed and an investigation was opened, but all the indications were that this was a tragic accident.

News of the disappearance had travelled fast on social networks on Wednesday night. So too did news of Mr Bagu’s death.

Yesterday, Gibraltar united in mourning for the loss of this young man and in support for his grieving family and friends.

“Our thoughts and prayers are now with the family in this very difficult time and we shall offer them all the support they need,” said police Commissioner Eddie Yome shortly after the Royal Gibraltar Police confirmed the news that the body had been recovered.

Among those who expressed their condolences publicly during the course of yesterday was the committee youth section of the GSLP, which Mr Bagu had recently joined.

The GSLP youth section said it deeply regretted the sudden passing of it fellow committee member and friend, who was “an enthusiastic young man with a very positive vision of life.”

“The GSLP youth committee would like to express their deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the statement added.

The Gibraltar Government also added its voice of deep condolence, as did the GSD Opposition.

There was also common thanks and praise for the men and women of the emergency services who worked tirelessly to search for Mr Bagu when he went missing.

This included the Gibraltar Port Authority, the Royal Gibraltar Police, the City Fire Brigade and the Ministry of Defence, in particular the Royal Navy Clearance Diving Element and the Gibraltar Defence Police. Volunteers also joined in the search.

“They have shown once again, in a manner that we have proudly come to expect, true professionalism and dedication to duty which the Opposition applauds and salutes,” the GSD said.

The Gibraltar Government added that it was also very grateful to Spain’s maritime rescue service, Salvamento Marítimo, which immediately responded to a request for assistance and despatched boats and a helicopter to help in the search.

Mr Bagu’s funeral will take place from St Theresa’s Church at 10am this morning.

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