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Family pays tribute to sisters killed in Vietnam waterfalls tragedy

Published 27/02/2016

Christian Sloan, one of the British tourists who died while climbing waterfalls in Vietnam.
Christian Sloan, one of the British tourists who died while climbing waterfalls in Vietnam.

The family of two sisters killed while climbing waterfalls in Vietnam have paid tribute to them, saying "two bright lights have gone out".

Beth Anderson, 24, and her sister Isobel Mackensie Squire, 19, died along with former Royal Navy sailor Christian Sloan, 25, at the Datanla waterfalls in Lam Dong province on Friday.

The women, who were from the Ecclesall area of Sheffield, were seven weeks into a backpacking tour of Asia when tragedy struck.

In a statement released via South Yorkshire Police, their family said: "Two bright lights have gone out.

"They shone brightly for 24 and 19 years for everyone who loved and adored them and everyone who came into contact with them.

"Sisters, Beth and Izzy were living a life of adventure and did so, right to the end."

The sisters' trip had already taken them to Cambodia and Thailand, according to pictures posted on social media by Miss Squire, who was a keen amateur horse rider.

It remains unclear exactly how the three holidaymakers died, but it has been claimed that they were not with an official guide and did not use proper safety equipment.

Vo Anh Tan, deputy director of the Lam Dong joint stock tourist company which manages the Datanla waterfalls, said visitors usually start at the top of the tiered waterfall, which is popular among Western tourists.

Mr Tan said an unauthorised local private tour operator arranged the tour and apparently did not pay for entrance tickets and did not use the company's safety equipment.

He said the guide was detained by police for questioning.

The bodies were recovered downstream from the waterfall.

Police believe the tourists might have slipped when exploring the area, according to local news reports.

James McGlashan, who was travelling with Mr Sloan at the time, wrote on Facebook: "Thank you for all the messages flooding in, have just stopped in the ambulances for a toilet break so only have wifi for 10 minutes but will try and get back to everyone once I get to Ho Chi Minh City.

"Thank you for all your support. Devastated RIP Sloan."

Lucie Elizabeth wrote on Facebook: "Cannot believe what I've just heard another angel taken far too soon Christian Sloan my thoughts go out to all of your family at this sad time."

The Foreign Office confirmed three British people had died and said it is in contact with the authorities in Vietnam.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are providing support to the families of three British nationals following their deaths near Da Lat, Vietnam.

"Our sympathies are with their families and friends at this difficult time. We are in close contact with local authorities in Vietnam on their behalf."

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