‘A massive inspiration’ - friends and teachers pay tribute to Norwich backpacker Aiden Webb
- Credit: Submitted
School friends have paid tribute to 'driven and talented' Aiden Webb, a Norwich backpacker who died while climbing Vietnam's highest mountain.
The body of the 22-year-old was found down a ravine on the 10,312ft Fansipan mountain yesterday morning, six days after he set out to climb it.
The former City of Norwich School (CNS) pupil, an experienced climber, texted girlfriend Bluebell Baughan, who was in a nearby village, to say he had fallen and injured his arm and leg, dropped his flashlight and lost the trail. He sent a map of his location.
His father Trever Webb, from Attleborough, and uncle Michael flew to Vietnam on Tuesday to join the search - which did not involve military intervention or even a helicopter.
Despite rescuers' best efforts, drone cameras and a widely shared social media appeal, they found the Anglia Ruskin University graduate near Sin Chai village, at the foot of the mountain, at 7am UK time.
Today, friends have paid tribute to a loyal friend and talented actor.
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• Luke Muszalik, 22, said: 'We had a tight circle of friends and I would say he was bar far the funniest guy in the group, he would always put a smile on our faces, even when we weren't feeling happy he'd manage to make us laugh.
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'We used to hang out outside of school as well, either playing xbox or just going to the park to chat and do some pull ups on the climbing frames, seeing as he was the only friend who could match me in strength back then, he was always pretty strong which is why I call him Hercules.
'We lost contact a little more when we started working but we still spoke and saw each other occasionally. But I knew if I needed him for anything he'd be there for me. He was Mr Nice, I've never heard him say anything negative.
'He will always remain in my head and heart and be a massive inspiration to my life day in day out.'
• Jack Ward met Mr Webb at playschool. He said: 'He was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, he would always look out for everyone and he always wanted to go travelling and climbing. He will be sadly missed, perhaps everyone who knew Aiden could help organise a sponsored climb in tribute to him.'
• Victoria Bobbin went to school with Mr Webb from his time at Nelson First School to CNS.
'I'm very sad to hear the news this morning that an old friend has passed away during an adventure of a life time,' she said. 'I loved seeing the pictures which he regularly uploaded to facebook and was a shame that it ended in such a sad way.'
• School friend Charlie Skinner said: 'So the best way to describe Aiden - a driven and talented young man with an incredible scene of humour. I first met Aiden at college on the acting and we clicked straight away, the kind of lad you'd like to grab a few beers with. This morning's news was very upsetting and my thoughts are with his family and the ones close to him.'
• Jim Nixon, headteacher at CNS, said: 'Aiden was a much loved and valued student who was at CNS from 2005 to 2009 and is remembered for his cheerfulness, positive attitude, creativity and willingness to do well. One particular memory was a school trip to the Lake District where he was already showing his love of challenge and the outdoors.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with Aiden's family, other loved ones and friends at this very difficult time.'
• A statement from Anglian Ruskin University, where Mr Webb studied drama, said: 'We are deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts are with Aiden's family, friends and girlfriend Bluebell, who is also a former student, at this very difficult time.
'Aiden graduated from Anglia Ruskin in 2014 and is remembered very fondly, particularly by members of the Drama department, where he was a popular and hard-working student, known for his wonderful sense of humour.'
• Sofia Ramsay said: 'We were friends in high school, I have never know someone to be so popular and the nicest boy I'm school he was a great friend to everyone. He was funny, generous, kind, and definitely a loyal friend - he would always be there if you needed him no matter what. He will be missed by everyone.'
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