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25 August 2012, 09:19
A Cambridge University student who drowned while swimming off the Maltese island of Comino has been named as Marcus Hughes-Hallett.
The 20 year-old, who was studying maths at Queens' College, got into difficulties while snorkelling in caves during a family holida.
Police in Malta said Mr Hughes-Hallett was swimming in the Bay of Santa Marija when the tragedy struck. The alarm was reportedly raised by his family after he entered a cave but failed to come back out.
A police spokesman said: "He was assisted by some people who were in the area and brought to shore and given first aid. He was taken to Mater Dei hospital by a helicopter from the armed forces, but unfortunately died.''
The Foreign Office said it was aware of the death and was giving consular assistance to the family.
Marcus was due to graduate from Cambridge in 2014. In his A-level exams he achieved four A* grades and a distinction in the advanced extension award for maths having picked up another A in French earlier in his school years.
His uncle Andrew Hughes-Hallett said the accident had devastated relatives and friends. He told reporters: "Marcus was an exceptional young man. ``We cannot put into words what a tragic loss this is. As a family we are totally devastated by his death."