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British teenager dies in Costa Rica

The family of a British teenager who died while climbing in Costa Rica are understood to making preparations to return his body to the UK.

Lucas Drummond, 16, fell to his death while climbing in Santa Ana in the heart of the Central American country.

The incident is understood to have happened on Friday April 4, although authorities have not confirmed this.

The experienced climber was leading a small group on an expedition organised by his school, the United World College of Costa Rica. He had travelled to the country to study for an international baccalaureate qualification.

Before moving abroad, Lucas lived in Hackney with his parents Carol and John Drummond, a property developer and former borough councillor. They are believed to have flown to the country during the week to repatriate their son's body.

In a statement yesterday they said: "We are devastated by the loss of our son Lucas, who was a devoted and loving brother and son to us and friend to so many.

"Lucas was always full of life and energy, someone with so many ideas of how to change the world for the better, and that is how we will remember him.

"He was given the opportunity to study abroad in a multicultural international school with an ethos of being able to help others while learning about themselves.

"This was like a dream come true for Lucas and an opportunity to help develop his lively mind and his spirit for adventure which was a strong part of his being. He died doing what he loved."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "The Foreign Office is aware of the death of a British national in Costa Rica and is providing consular support."

Dominic O'Reilly, director of communications for UWC International, said: "Lucas Drummond, a 16-year-old student from Great Britain attending UWC Costa Rica, died in a climbing accident on April 4 in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.

"Lucas was an experienced climber who was one of a group of five students taking part in an organised college activity under the supervision of a faculty member. UWC Costa Rica is co-operating fully with the local authorities' investigation.

"The visit of Lucas's parents and brother to the college immediately after his death allowed the family and the UWC Costa Rica community to remember him together. The staff and students of UWC Costa Rica united in activities and vigils, including a tree planting, to express their grief and remember a hugely popular and valued member of their community.

"The other UWC schools and colleges have all sent messages of condolence and support."

Mauricio Viales, principal of UWC Costa Rica, said: "We are all very saddened by the loss of our student, Lucas. He was an outstanding young man, full of energy and creative ideas, always looking to serve others and dedicated to the ideals of diversity as it applies to the larger world of history, politics and economics.

"Our entire community including Lucas's fellow classmates, his teachers, and our support and administrative staff deeply feel his passing. The thoughts and sympathy of all members of the entire UWC global community are with the Drummond family and we ask that their privacy be respected at a time of such sadness."


From Belfast Telegraph