FILE picture: Snorkelling with Turtles on Lady Elliot Island. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland
FILE picture: Snorkelling with Turtles on Lady Elliot Island. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland

Snorkeller drowns on Great Barrier Reef

A man aged in his 60s has drowned while snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.

The man was snorkelling off the western coast of Lady Elliot Island, 43 nautical miles northeast of Bundaberg, when he was pulled from the water unconscious around 1:53pm Monday.

A woman, whose relationship to the man is unknown, suffered near-drowning symptoms but did not require assistance to leave the water.

A rescue helicopter was dispatched to transport the pair to Bundaberg Hospital but paramedics pronounced the man dead on the scene.

The woman was transported to Bundaberg Hospital in a stable condition.

An Ambulance spokesman said it was unclear if the man had suffered a medical episode prior to his drowning.

Queensland Police said a team would arrive on the island today to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.

A woman had previously drowned at Lady Elliot Island while snorkelling with a group in 2014.