Tributes to fire chief who died in Malta dive tragedy

Tributes have been paid to a former firefighter who died in a tragic diving accident off the coast of Malta.

Andrew Longden, 50, was swimming at one of the island’s most popular diving spots when he got into difficulties.

Malta Police told 89.7 Bay they were called to the scene at Cirkewwa on May 8.

Their investigation ruled out foul play.

The retired firefighter formerly served as a fire station commander in Cheshire.

He is reported to have worked tirelessly to support his local community in Bollington.

Town councillor Graham Hibbert said that Mr Longden was known for caring deeply about the well-being of those around him.

He told the Macclesfield Express: ‘He was a very caring person who thought a lot about the community, he was a really nice bloke.

‘I am very shocked and saddened to hear of his passing and that we will no longer see him active around the village.

‘He was a smashing person.’

The Cheshire coroner opened an initial investigation following a formal report from Malta Police but there are no plans for a full inquest.

Read more: Macclesfield Express

Read next: British company ‘to create 1,000 new jobs’ in Malta

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