Former major general dies while swimming on holiday in Italy

A former British Army major general has died on holiday in Italy.

George Michael Swindells was swimming off the island of Elba in the Mediterranean when he drowned.

The Foreign Office confirmed the death of an 85-year-old Briton in Italy.

The incident happened at around 3.30pm local time on Tuesday.

Reports in Italy said the Army veteran from Wiltshire may have suffered a medical episode in the water and drowned around 100 metres from land.

Two German tourists and a passing policeman dragged him from the water but resuscitation attempts on the beach failed, local newspaper reports said.

It is believed Mr Swindells was visiting the island with his wife and friends. 

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in Elba on October 13. We are providing assistance to the family."

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