Maldivian authorities are investigating how a Russian tourist died and 10 others were injured while scuba diving, the tourism minister said.
The 36-year-old Russian national was among a group of tourists including from Germany, Australia and Russia taken casualty on Thursday while diving around a reef, minister Mahamood Shougee told AFP by telephone.
"The family of the victim has been notified, the other tourists have since been released. It was a very unfortunate incident," Shougee said.
The cause of the accident is unknown, though local news reports quoted diving instructors saying it was likely due to faulty equipment or breathing-related problems.
"We are still not sure how all 11 became ill suddenly," a police spokesman said by telephone.
About 700 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka, Maldives is a magnet for upmarket tourists, where guests pay up to $US14,500 ($A15,172.13) a night to scuba dive and sleep in wooden cabins built over turquoise blue waters.
But diving accidents are rare in this chain of 1,192 islands, and the police spokesman said incidents generally involve individual divers rather than groups.
Diving schools and diving facilities at resorts are inspected every year by the Tourism Ministry before their licence is renewed.
Tourism, which accounts for over a third of Maldives' economy of just under a billion US dollars, has enabled the nation of 369,000 Sunni Muslims to emerge as the richest in South Asia, with a per capita income of $US3,400 ($A3,557).Source: http://news.smh.com.au