British Student Plunges to Death

By Doug Williams
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British Student Plunges to Death

Doug Williams
 
 
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Sometimes in life, tragic mishaps occur, and what happened in Vietnam to Aiden Webb, only 22 years old, is one of them.

At Outdoor Revival we often write about people that have died in the wilderness but usually it’s not something that’s happened recently such as this which makes it all the more sad.

While climbing Mount Fansipan, he fell 10,000 feet to his death.  The tragedy happened days after he posted on Facebook that he was a very competent climber who knew his limits.

 

An inquest regarding his death was called by his distraught parents at the Norfolk Coroner’s Court.  The Vietnamese external medical examination stated that he died due to drowning after becoming unconscious.  The body was examined again in the UK, and they were unable to ascertain the cause of his death.

There were no fractures, signs of serious bleeding or of drugs in his blood or urine.  They were unable to pinpoint the cause of death, largely due to the body arriving already embalmed.  Mr. Webb was thought to have been an experienced climber.

On his Facebook page are many posts about his trekking, caving, motor biking, and mountaineering experiences.

On June 3rd he set out to climb Mount Fansipan by himself.  He was in contact with his girlfriend, Bluebell Baughan, who was also in Vietnam.  They communicated via Facebook as he climbed.  It is known he lost the trail after having to go around a landslide and that at one point he slipped and injured his knee.

Instead of returning, he decided to press onward.  At 3:30 am he messaged Ms. Baughan to say he was going to turn around and start back down the mountain, aiming for a stream near a waterfall.  Nearly three hours later he sent her another message telling her his location and asking for help to be sent.  That was the last message on that Saturday – by this time he had been on the mountain all night, communicating with his girlfriend about the conditions and how hard his climb was.

 

No matter how much she pleaded for him to turn back and try again another day, he continued to try the ascent.  He had no choice in the end but to spend the night on the mountain due to having missed the last cable car.  He was dressed inappropriately for an overnight stay, according to a statement read at the inquest.

Searchers found his body in a ravine a week later; he was in an area known for its cliffs, deep gorges, and very slippery surfaces.  His family has thanked everyone who searched and made it possible for the return of their son to them.

 

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