A TRAINEE diver had been out on exercise just a week before his tragic death, it has been revealed.

Hartlepool Divers' Club today told how Michael Morvan was close to completing his second qualification, which would have allowed him to dive anywhere in the world to a depth of 35 metres.

The 36-year-old died during an event at Hartlepool Marina on Sunday afternoon.

Club chairman Brian Davies broke down in tears as he spoke of the shock around the club, which has 80 members.

"We just really don't know what happened," said Mr Davies. "Everyone at the club is deeply, deeply devastated by Michael's death, its effected us all.

"Michael was a very nice man and a very keen diver."

He told how there has never been a death or serious injury at the club in its 40 year history.

Just a week before his untimely death, Mr Morvan, from the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, had taken part in an exercise in fresh water at a site in Catterick, North Yorkshire. This was part of his second qualification, along with the exercise on Sunday.

He had been guided through his training by the Teesside club, who are members of the British Sub-Aqua Club, for the last six months.

Mr Davies spoke about the techniques shown to trainees, which include being shown how to use a mask and flippers correctly.

"Michael wasn't far off completing the second qualification, with the only next step being able to dive to 50 metres.

"But holiday resorts are normally restricted to 20 metres, and Michael was beyond that."

He added: "We have no idea what happened on Sunday. We've done thousands of dives in that marina and nothing like this has ever happened since we opened in 1967. We are all finding it hard to cope."

Cleveland Police said a post mortem examination carried out on the body of Mr Morvan yesterday proved inconclusive.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were called in to investigate the incident, but were happy to leave all enquiries with Cleveland Police.