The British finance director of pizza delivery giant Domino’s UK has drowned snorkelling during a holiday to Mauritius.
David Bauernfeind, 51, was on a break with his wife and daughter when he got into difficulty on Boxing Day.
His wife Nicolette reported him missing and his body was found in the Belle-Mare lagoon by a yacht skipper.
A source close to the investigation into Mr Bauernfeind’s death said: ‘The man was confirmed dead by paramedics and his body was then transported to the Victoria Hospital in Candos.
‘An autopsy took place, and the cause of death was found to be asphyxiation caused by drowning.
‘His wife has identified the body, and other next of kin in Britain are being informed.’
A Mauritius police spokesman said there would be a ‘full investigation’ into Mr Bauernfeind’s death, which is being treated as a ‘tragic accident.’
The family had arrived in Mauritius on December 19 and were staying in a hotel in Belle-Mare, one of the Indian Ocean island’s most glamorous resorts.
Domino’s chief executive David Wild on Friday paid tribute to his ‘hugely liked’ colleague, who joined the company in October 2018.
He said: ‘We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news. On behalf of our Board, our colleagues and our franchisees, we send our heartfelt sympathies to David’s wife Nicolette and daughter Ornella as well as his wider family and friends.
‘David was hugely liked and deeply respected for his dedication and sharp intellect amongst Domino’s colleagues. He was a force for good within the business and will be greatly missed.’
Mr Bauernfeind was formerly the finance boss of Connect Group, and helped build technology company Xchanging over 15 years.
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Mauritius boasts some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, but strong undercurrents often take swimmers by surprise.
A dramatic spike in drownings in recent years led to the Mauritius government introducing sea surveillance platforms around beaches.
There was a particular problem with the island’s lagoons, where swimmers and people taking part in water sports such as snorkelling and kite surfing were lulled into a false of security by the warm and apparently still waters.
Mauritius, which is some 1200 miles off the south east coast of Africa, was administered by Britain up until 1968.
The island nation still attracts thousands of British holidaymakers every year, especially during the winter months.