A lull hung over Xlendi this morning and the sea gently lapped the sandy beach, refusing to yield French diving instructor Alain Bollini, who has been missing since Thursday.

“The sea has taken my husband’s soul, but I am pleading with the sea to give me his body back,” his 36-year-old wife, Valerie, said, battling to keep her tears back.

Valerie told timesofmalta.com that her 44-year-old husband was married to the sea. They had moved to Gozo from France in March so that he could be in a place where he could practice his passion.

The couple, who have a four-month-old baby girl and three children each from previous marriages, were happily settled in the Xlendi’s tightly-knit community.

Valerie said she is very grateful for all the help she has received from locals and she wanted to thank all those who had helped to search for her husband. He had gone for a dive on Thursday afternoon and never returned.

“My head tells me he’s dead, but my heart tells me not to give up,” she said, not knowing what will happen now that the search was called off yesterday.

See full interview in The Times tomorrow.

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