A British diving instructor has been shot dead in front of his wife during an armed robbery in the Bahamas.

Gary Vanhoeck, 51, was confronted by two masked on 1 April, on the luxury yacht on which he lived with his wife Kathryn, 42.

The couple were moored on their boat at Stuart Cove's diving centre on the north-west side of New Providence, when they were ambushed by the men. Two of the four robbers reportedly tied up a security guard while the other two launched the attack.

Armed with handguns, the intruders demanded cash before firing at Vanhoeck. He was shot twice in the head. His wife Kathryn, who is also a diver, was tied up by the men and forced to watch her husband die. He was later pronounced dead.

The robbers fled the scene on foot at around 10pm.

A spokesman for Nassau Police confirmed the reports saying: "Police have launched an island-wide manhunt for the suspects responsible for a shooting incident that left a man dead on Friday 1 May.

"According to reports, around 10pm, a man who is a British national residing in the Bahamas for a number of years, was at home on his sailboat located at western New Providence near a place where he is employed, when two men armed with handguns accosted him and demanded cash.

"The men fired two shots hitting the victim before fleeing on foot. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene."

Police said they are now searching for four men in connection with the incident

On his blog, Vanhoeck, originally from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, wrote that he had quit his job to "head halfway around the world to start a new life teaching diving." He and his wife had been on the Caribbean island for five years "living like pirates, diving in the Caribbean".

"The adventures of a diving instructor, or better known as 'the mid life crisis," he wrote.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in the Bahamas. We are providing the family with consular assistance at this very difficult time."

Mr Vanhoeck's brother Wayne said his family are "absolutely devastated" by the murder.

"It's been a few days now, but it's all still a blur. It's unreal," he told Sky News. Paying tribute to his brother he added: "Gary was a fantastic brother and friend. He was living his dream. He didn't deserve to die that way. We're devastated. It's such a shock to us all. The whole family is absolutely devastated."

His death brings the number of people murdered in the Bahamas this year to 49 - a 19% increase on 2014 - according to the Nassau Guardian.

The incident comes a year after Briton Edgar Dart was killed when struggling with robbers who had broken into his mother's home in the Emerald Bay area of Grand Bahama. Three masked intruders had cut phone lines to the house before entering, carrying a handgun and a machete.

The men tied up Mr Dart's family and made off with jewellery and other personal belongings.

The Bahamian tourism minister, Obie Wilchcombe, told the Tribune that he was concerned crime was ruining the island's reputation with tourists.