The body of missing diver Paul Swain, 49, was recovered from the wreck of the MV Xlendi this morning in a difficult operation by the Spider volunteer section of the Civil Protection Department.

Mr Swain died in the wreck two weeks ago and his body was found partially buried in the silt on Saturday. Recovery was difficult because of the depth of the wreck, the darkness and the fact that the wreck was upside down, with access being hazardous.

The members of the Spider team, who are specialists in technical diving, worked together with the regular officers of the Civil Protection Department to carry the body to the surface. It is being taken to Mgarr on the rescue vessel Garibaldi.(picture)

Mr Swain's father was reported by The Times today saying he was relieved that his son could finally be given a proper burial.

"Everyone is feeling quite stressed, but I feel a bit better - knowing that we will be able to give him a proper burial... It is difficult, but at least we can bring him home now," 82-year-old Tom Swain said, adding that the whole family was trying to come to terms with Paul's loss.

The body was found in the cafeteria of the scuttled former Gozo Channel ferry.

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