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Mayor dies scuba diving on South African holiday

A ‘one-off’: Mayor Nigel Gawthrope

A BRITISH mayor has died while on a diving holiday in South Africa.

Labour councillor Nigel Gawthrope — an experienced scuba diver and underwater photographer — collapsed on Friday following a lunchtime dive off the coast of Durban.

He was staying at a diving resort with his wife Jenny. The exact cause of his death has not been confirmed.

Resort: Beach near Durban tourist spot where Mr Gawthrope was staying with his wife PICTURE: ALAMY

Mr Gawthrope, 61, was eight months into his role as mayor of Cambridge after being elected in May. He had worked as a porter at Clare College, Cambridge, and was a committed fundraiser with city children’s charity the Red Hen Project.

East of England MEP Alex Mayer said: ‘This is such a shock and deeply sad news.’ He described Mr Gawthrope as a ‘committed’ Labour councillor, adding: ‘He always greeted you with a smile and had a great sense of humour.’

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of the city council, said: ‘Nigel was a one-off and he will be hugely missed.’ It is understood Mr Gawthrope’s brother will fly to Durban today, the BBC reported. The family is being supported by the British consulate in South Africa.