UK
09/09/2013 04:06 BST | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Andrew Sturgess And Carmen Spiridon Drown Off Sicily Coast

PA
The couple were said to be swimming off the coast of Sicily

A British man named as Andrew Sturgess and his girlfriend are believed to have drowned off the coast of Sicily.

Local police believe the 34-year-old could have died while trying to rescue his girlfriend from the sea at Tre Fontane beach in the village of Campobello di Mazara in the south-west of the Italian island.

His girlfriend, named in reports as Romania-born Carmen Spiridon, 25, was found floating in the water a few yards away from him, according to a local newspaper.

Eyewitnesses said they had seen the pair playing safely in the water just moments before, it reported.

Local police officer Captain Fabio Manzo told Sky News: "The water was not rough at the time but from what we have established neither was a strong swimmer and there are awkward currents in the area.

"We think that perhaps one of them had got into trouble and that they had tried to save the other but sadly in the end, both died."

The Daily Mail reported that the couple were from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and were on holiday visiting Ms Spiridon's mother.