THE Body of a British diver has been found 170ft underwater off the coast of Murcia.

Phillip Evans, 69, got separated from his diving group in the Islas Hormigas marine reserve last Thursday, May 23.

His body was recovered after a two-day search in which a Spanish coastguard vessel used a remote-operated vehicle to scour the seafloor.

TRAGIC: Evans was a passionate diver

“The body of the British diver who disappeared on Thursday has been located 170 feet underwater in the Hormigas Islands area,” said Francisco Jimenez, a regional government official.

“We regret this tragic outcome.”

A Murcia judge will now investigate the circumstances that led to the diver’s death.

PROTECTED: The 19 km2 marine reserve around Islas Hormigas is a vital Mediterranean conservation area

Evans, from Balmedie, in Aberdeenshire, was ex-Armed Forces and an experienced diver.

A statement from his family on social media said: “We are devastated to let you all know Phillip went diving and didn’t come home.

“He died doing something he loved.”

Evans was a regular visitor to Murcia, using the Club de Buceo Islas Hormigas many times over the last few years.

On social media he praised them as the ‘friendliest club in the area’.

Evans was also a strong campaigner fighting against marine plastic waste, throwing his weight behind efforts to ban single-use plastic cutlery and coffee cups, among others.

READ MORE: Sea and air search launched for British diver and ex-soldier, 70, who vanished while diving in southern Spain

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