THREE British tourists killed in Vietnam may have been on an unauthorised tour of waterfalls.
The bodies of the two women, aged 19 and 25, and a 25-year-old man, were recovered at the Datanla waterfalls in Lam Dong province, according to local news reports. The exact cause of the deaths is still unknown but their guide is being questioned by police.
Christian Sloan, from Deal, in Kent, was named as one of the victims. In a statement, 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.”
Foreign Office officials confirmed it was in contact with authorities in Vietnam and extended condolences to the families.
The waterfalls, a popular spot for western tourists, regularly has visitors either climbing or zip-wiring across. The bodies were recovered downstream from the waterfall.
The exact cause of the deaths is not yet clear but the father of a travelling companion of Mr Deal told ITV News harness failure could be to blame.
Alan Mcglashan said he spoke to his son James who was meant to go on the trip to the falls but was feeling ill. He said: “The message I got was there had been a harness failure and they fell and drowned.”
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.
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.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are providing support to the families of three British nationals following their deaths in Vietnam.”