Filipino high school sweethearts drown during honeymoon in Maldives

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Maldives
Friends of Erika Joyce and Leomer Lagradilla have launched a crowdfunding campaign to repatriate their remains

A young couple from the Philippines enjoying a luxury honeymoon in the Maldives both drowned while snorkelling, it has been announced.

The 29-year-old woman and her 30-year-old husband, identified as Erika Joyce and Leomer Lagradilla, from Laguna, were confirmed dead yesterday (Sunday, January 13).

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Their deaths were confirmed by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement released today.

According to the authorities, the couple were guests in a resort on Dhiffushi island of Kaafu Atoll and were swimming in a shallow lagoon when they got into trouble.

“Both were rescued by resort workers but were pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital. Authorities were reported to be investigating the incident,” the DFA said.

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The couple, said by friends to be high school sweethearts, tied the knot on December 18 and left Manila for their honeymoon on January 9.

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which has jurisdiction over the Maldives, has been asked to coordinate with authorities in the island to arrange for the repatriation of the bodies of the two victims.

Authorities have also launched an investigation into the incident.

In a post shared on Facebook, the couple’s friends said they are organising a fundraising campaign for the repatriation of the couple’s remains.

“Bringing their remains back to the Philippines are being arranged. The amount needed for them to be home is 634,000 pesos [for each person],” the post reads. 

An online campaign has been set up by a certain Raymond Adofina at fund-raising website GoGetFunding.

The DFA, meanwhile, also extended its condolences to the Lagradilla family and their friends. “The DFA is in touch with the next of kin of the two overseas workers and has assured them of its assistance in the repatriation of their remains,” the statement said.

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