Great Barrier Reef
A tourist snorkels above coral in the lagoon located on Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef in this file photo. A 60-year-old British man died on Friday while diving on the reef REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

A 60-year-old British tourist died on Friday, (18 November) while diving on the Great Barrier Reef, the third person to die this week at Australia's popular tourist attraction.

The British man was reportedly found without a breathing device during a certified scuba dive at Agincourt Reef, about 100km north of Cairns. The crew on board the vessel Silversonic tried to revive him with a defibrillator and contacted emergency services, a spokesperson for Queensland ambulance service said.

The man, whose name has not been released yet, was travelling with his wife and had visited the Great Barrier Reef with tour operator called Quicksilver, Cairns Post reported. On Wednesday, two French tourists, Jacques Goron, 76, and Danielle Franck, 74 died on the reef from cardiac arrests while snorkelling at Michaelmas Cay, which is near Cairns.

Colonel McKenzie from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators said, "It is really unusual but I'm kind of at a loss."

He added saying, "I don't think I've seen anything like this in so long, and you look and think, what can we learn from this?"

"It is really difficult to see how we could have done anything else, to be perfectly frank," he said, according to The Guardian. He added that the last wave of tragedies at the reef date back to the late 1980s which prompted changes for dive operators. The changes included advanced medical aids, defibrillators and oxygen equipment to be available on the vessels.

"The worldwide average for people having a fatality when diving is one fatality per 100,000 dives. In Queensland, we have one fatality for 450,000 dives – so we have a record that is four and a half times better than the worldwide industry average," McKenzie added.