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Vietnam waterfalls tragedy: Family pays tribute to former Navy man

Published 26/02/2016

The Foreign Office is liaising with Vietnamese authorities
The Foreign Office is liaising with Vietnamese authorities

The family of a former Royal Navy sailor who died while climbing waterfalls in Vietnam said his death "is a very sad loss to us" and he "lived for life".

Christian Sloan, 25, and two women aged 19 and 25 and named in reports as Izzy Squire and Beth Anderson, died after taking a tour with an unauthorised guide at the Datanla waterfalls in Lam Dong province - a popular tourist spot.

His family said: "Christian's death is a very sad loss to us. He was a very popular young man, formerly in the Royal Navy, who had many, many friends not just locally but around the world. He lived for life."

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.

Friend 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 contact with the authorities in Vietnam.

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.

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."

The bodies were recovered downstream from the waterfall.

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

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