THE chief constable of Merseyside Police paid tribute to a former colleague who died after a diving accident in the Cayman Islands.
Former detective constable Chris Devereux, 54, who lived in Wallasey died last week in hospital after getting into difficulty while shore diving with a colleague.
Chief constable Jon Murphy said: “It was with sadness that I heard about the death of former Detective Constable Chris Devereux in the Cayman Islands.
“Having served with him as a cadet and then at several points during his career, I would describe him as a hard-working and likeable man, as well as an outstanding police officer dedicated to serving the people of Merseyside for 30 years”
Mr Devereux, who joined the Royal Cayman Islands Police (RCIPS) in May, was diving in the Sunset House area when he got into difficulty.
Sunset House staff helped to bring him to shore and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Mr Devereux was taken to Cayman Islands Hospital in Georgetown but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Devereux’s family were informed of his death shortly after the accident.
A spokesman for the RCIPS said: “Just after 3pm on Monday last week the officer had been shore diving with a colleague in the vicinity of the Mermaid when he got into difficulty and lost consciousness. His colleague brought him to the surface.
“Staff from Sunset House immediately assisted, brought him to shore and performed CPR.
“When the ambulance crew arrived they continued CPR while conveying the officer to the Cayman Islands Hospital in Georgetown.
“However despite efforts of the dive staff and the paramedics he was pronounced dead on arrival.
“A family liaison officer has been appointed by the RCIPS.”
Commissioner David Baines, of RCIPS, said: “Although Chris was only with the RCIPS for a matter of months he had quickly become an integral part of the drugs and serious crime taskforce.
“He was both well-liked and respected by colleagues. He will be remembered as a hard-working and committed officer who played a significant role in some of our most recent investigations.
“He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends back in the United Kingdom.”
A Cayman Island resident, who asked not be named, said the area was particularly popular with retired Merseyside Police officers.
He said: “We bought our police helicopter from Merseyside, and a fair few cops out here are from in and around Liverpool.”