British national and girlfriend 'drown in Sicily'

Map of Sicily

A British man has died in Italy, the Foreign Office said, with local reports suggesting he drowned while swimming in the sea off south-west Sicily.

The man, understood to be Andrew Sturgess, 34, died after getting into difficulty in the sea at Tre Fontane beach in the town of Campobello di Mazara, Trapani, local reports said.

His girlfriend, named in the reports as Carmen Spiridon, 25, also died.

The UK Foreign Office said it was helping the family.

No further details were released about the couple.

'Got into trouble'

Local reports said eyewitnesses had seen them playing safely in the water just moments before.

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."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the death of a British national in Italy. We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."