A POOLE paramedic has died during a diving accident while carrying out charity work in the Maldives.

Dai Rees, 30, is believed to have passed away after blacking out while snorkelling off an island on Sunday.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation (SWASFT) Trust has confirmed their employee died, while on the trip with a group working to help the island's emergency medical services.

According to reports Dai was working as part of a close-knit team of four paramedics from the Poole & Bournemouth area, and that his shocked colleagues attempted to save him.

Scores of tributes have already been paid online to Dai, who is described in one touching post as a “lovely, friendly, professional, highly-respected and well-loved guy.”

SWASFT chief executive Ken Wenman confirmed: “Tragically, Dai was involved in a diving accident whilst carrying out charity work in the Maldives.

“Dai was involved in a group that are hoping to establish a not-for-profit organisation that will work in partnership with the trust to increase the capacity of communities in developing countries to deliver pre-hospital emergency services through training, consultancy and the provision of specialist equipment.

“Dai was a well-liked and respected member of staff and on behalf of the trust I would like to offer my condolences to his family, friends and work colleagues.”

Dai was working with the Maldivian Sihhath Institute, which aims to bring emergency response training and equipment to the local population of five islands across the Maldivian archipelago.

An online tribute from Chloe Lois Manners read: “I'll always remember when you introduced yourself to me when I was new and shy. Thank you. Thoughts go to your friends and family.”

Meanwhile, Amanda Johnstone said: “RIP Dai, will always remember your friendly smile. Thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national on 16 March in Maldives. We are providing consular assistance at this difficult time.”

You can leave your tributes to Dai below or email newsdesk@bournemouthecho.co.uk.