Councillor Nigel Gawthrope died while scuba diving at Umkomaas last week. Picture: Twitter

Durban - A British scuba diver who suffered a heart attack and died at a KwaZulu-Natal beach last week, has been identified as Cambridge mayor, Nigel Gawthrope.

Gawthrope, an avid underwater photographer, had been on holiday with his wife, Jenny, in KZN during the festive season. 

He had been diving at a beach at Umkomaas on the KZN South Coast when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Netcare911 spokesperson, Shawn Herbst, said Gawthrope had gone into cardiac arrest shortly after surfacing.

“Fellow divers had initiated CPR while the boat raced back to shore where CPR was continued by an Advanced life support paramedic. Despite best efforts to save the man's life he was sadly declared deceased on the scene,” he said.

Gawthrope was 61 years old and had been a councillor at the the City of Cambridge for the last seven years.

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said; “Our thoughts are with Jenny, his family, friends and close council colleagues as they come to terms with this devastating loss."

The Mercury