The pearl industry is in shock after the death of a 22-year-old diver who was working off the Western Australian coast, south of Broome, over the weekend.
The Victorian man was in a team of six diving for pearl shells off the 80 Mile Beach.
Police say he surfaced in a distressed state and died not long after.
Executive officer of the Pearl Producers Association, Brett McCallum, says it's not yet known what caused the death, the first of an Australian pearl diver in 24 years.
"We haven't had any incident since 1988, so we would argue that our diving is very safe," he said.
"It's early days yet as to exactly what the cause of this loss of life is and we'll be doing everything we can to find out what happened, and hopefully if there's anything we can implement and improve, we will certainly do so."