Heartbroken sister pays tribute to Brit who drowned while scuba diving on holiday

A British woman who drowned while scuba diving on holiday has been pictured for the first time as her devastated sister paid tribute.

Rebecca Gannon, 29, has been named and pictured locally after drowning in Albania while exploring a WWII ship wreck.

She was reportedly with her boyfriend when she got into difficulty during the trip on Monday afternoon.

Instructor Saimir Kushova, 45, is said to have entered the water before bringing Rebecca to the surface after spotting her in difficulty.

Footage of the horror scene posted on Albanian news websites shows a body being carried from the vessel to the southern Albanian coast, where paramedics were waiting.

Rebecca, who is also known as Beccie, is from Stone in Staffordshire.

Her older sister, Sam, told MailOnline : “It is devastating. We are heartbroken. She’s my little sister. I can’t believe it.”

In a statement obtained by the Mail, her devastated boyfriend Robert Kerans, who like Rebecca has a PADI diving certificate, said there seemed to be a problem with Rebecca’s regulator but when they went into the water they “didn’t know if the problem was fixed”.

The couple, who are thought to have met while travelling and worked together in New Zealand, then went out into the water, but Robert couldn’t see Rebecca once they got out as the visibility was poor.

It was when he got out of the water after about 25 minutes that he saw a police boat close to them and he realised something bad had happened.

Gerta Brozi, who was on the boat and is thought to be co-owner of the Spiranca Diving Centre and an unqualified diving instructor, said previously: “We really don’t know what happened and are waiting for the police to finish the investigation.

“The British woman who died was here with her boyfriend and the both had PADI open water certificates so they were both fully qualified to dive with us.”

She continued: “She had been in the water for ten minutes and then she got into difficulty, there had been an issue with a regulator before but it was changed and was working fine.

“The next thing we knew Saimir had spotted she was in trouble and dived in to try and rescue her.”

According to Brozi, instructor Saimir is with police as an autopsy is conducted.

The wreck they were diving was not believed to be very deep at around seven or eight metres.

Local media said Saimir was being held on suspicion of violating work health and safety rules and illegally employing a dive instructor who was not fully qualified. He is due to appear in court today, it’s understood.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said at the time: “We are supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Albania and are in contact with the local authorities.”