The body of a young British man who died last week in a hiking trip in the northern Vietnamese province of Lao Cai was returned to his mourning family on Friday.
Local authorities had performed an autopsy, an obligatory formality, on the body of Aiden Web, who was found dead on Fansipan Mountain at an altitude of 2,800 meters above sea level on Thursday, before releasing him to the family.
Traver Webb, father of the 22-year-old, and representatives of the UK Embassy in Vietnam, received the body from Lao Cai authorities
Located in Sa Pa District, Fansipan is the highest peak in the three Indochinese countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, at the height of 3,143 meters.
On June 2, Aiden Webb and his girlfriend Bluebell Baugham checked in at a hotel in Sa Pa, with the man setting off to trek up Fansipan early the next morning, while girlfriend stayed behind.
As two maintained contact through Facebook, Baugham got the last contact from her boyfriend at around 6:00 am on June 4, when Webb told her how he had got lost with injuries on his arm and leg.
The missing story of Webb had been shared on Facebook with his aunt Lisa Shaw Webb calling for search and rescue efforts.
“Over the last six days, hundreds of officials, staff off the Hoang Lien National Park, Sa Pa police and forest rangers, military-run rescue force and locals have actively engaged in the search and rescue efforts,” said Nguyen Ngoc Hinh, deputy chairman of Sa Pa District.
“Unfortunately, all efforts failed to save him.”
The man reportedly climbed along the cable car line towards the mountain top, packing lightly with some food, a flashlight, and a phone charger. He was found dead only one kilometer away from the T4 beam of the cable car system.
Local authorities said he died from falling to the ground with severe injuries in his hands and knees. He also failed to survive the harsh weather of Fansipan, having lacked food and drink.
On Saturday, his ant Lisa Shaw Webb took to Facebook to express the family’s grief to what she said is “the worst tragedy in [our] lives,” as well as thanks to those who helped.
“I am truly heartbroken with this outcome… My family are heartbroken, shock has hit us all, it is such a sad and emotional time,” she wrote. “We have lost a loved one, but a loved one that's so young in such a tragic way.”
Webb also thanked “everyone who has sent messages of love and condolences,” but said she needs time to gather thoughts after such a life changer.
“Aiden was loved so much and he is going to be missed so badly, the loss is indescribable. He was a wonderful gorgeous inspirational young man,” she wrote.