Missing British holidaymaker found dead on beach in Laos

A missing British holidaymaker has been found dead on the fourth day of searching after he got swept away while swimming in a river in South East Asia on Tuesday.

John-Paul Conley, 35, from Middlesborough, was less than five months into a "dream" year-long trip with his girlfriend Kate Downey.

He had gone swimming in a river in Laos when he was dragged away by currents as Kate waited for him on the banks.

And, after an extensive land and air search and rescue mission, his body has now been found.

A statement from his friend Patrick Ruddy on the gofundme.com donations page said on Friday: "We have had sad news from Laos.

"Early on the fourth day of searching, John Paul was found on one of the many beaches on the river and recovered by fishing boat.

"Our brilliant, funny and much loved friend has gone. Now, John Paul will begin his journey home.

"Both families are now flying to Bangkok to meet Kate. She is making her way there with John Paul."

On Wednesday night Miss Downey's brother Lee said a safety net should have been in the river to stop swimmers being swept away by the current but was not in place.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Lee said: "He took a swim out in the falls and we understand there was supposed to be a safety net to stop people going so far out.

"The net wasn't there and he unfortunately got caught in this very strong current."

According to the BBC, thousands of pounds had been raised by family and friends to pay for a chartered search and rescue helicopter to comb the Don Khon 4,000 Islands region.

But, despite hopes he would be found alive, John-Paul did not survive the ordeal. According to the Darlington and Stockton Times, his friend Mr Ruddy added: "Rest in peace Johnny mate."

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