British Embassy criticised for not doing enough to find 22-year-old Norwich backpacker missing in Vietnam

Aiden Webb.

Aiden Webb. - Credit: Submitted

The British Embassy has been criticised for not doing enough to help find missing Norwich backpacker lost in Vietnam.

Aiden Webb's aunt Lisa Shaw hopes for news on her missing nephew.

Aiden Webb's aunt Lisa Shaw hopes for news on her missing nephew. - Credit: Archant

Aiden Webb, 22, was last heard from on Friday, after he fell and injured himself climbing the 10,312ft Fansipan mountain - the country's highest - alone in the northwesterly Sa Pa region.

Rescue teams believe he may have fallen down a ravine, while his family, who live in Norwich and Attleborough, hope the military can send a helicopter to the search.

His girlfriend Bluebell Baughan, who is in Vietnam, told BBC Norfolk she can't understnad why the British Embassy has not done more to trace the experienced climber, who has now been missing for six days.

She said: 'I called the embassy on the first day, within an hour, and on the sixth day they've finally sent someone but they haven't even arrived yet. We need some serious back-up here because it's been a long time.'

Aiden Webb, who has gone missing in Vietnam. Pic: Submitted.

Aiden Webb, who has gone missing in Vietnam. Pic: Submitted. - Credit: Submitted


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A representative from the Embassy, which says it is working closely with authorities in the search, is due to arrive in Sa Pa today.

When the former City of Norwich School pupil was first reported missing, his father Trever Webb and uncle Michael flew to the join the operation.

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About 200 police, locals and forestry have been combing the area, with Aiden's footprints found and later lost. The family now hopes the military will bolster the operation and widen the search area.

Miss Baughan said her partner had texted her to describe injuries to his arm and leg and send a map of his location, before she lost contact in the early hours of Saturday morning and raised the alarm.

The family has put out an appeal for anyone who has a drone and high-quality camera to get in touch.

His aunt Lisa Shaw, who lives in Mile Cross, said: 'They have done searches in all the areas they can get to but there are drops and crevices so they think he may have fallen down.

'My brothers are talking to the Vietnamese embassy to see if we can get the military involved to send a helicopter. [My brothers] aren't allowed to go and search themselves so they are just pacing up and down waiting for news. It is horrific for them out there and horrific for us waiting, but we have to find him.

'Today and tonight are so important - we have to find him.'

Thousands of people have shared Mrs Shaw's appeals for help on Facebook and she said she has been inundated with support and offers of help from people in Vietnam, who she said have been her 'rock' since her nephew, an experienced climber, went missing.

She said Mr Webb, who has been travelling through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and is due to return to the UK in the middle of July, currently lives in Cambridge, having studied drama at Anglia Ruskin Univesrity. He was born in Norwich and used to live in Magpie Road.

His travels have in part been with friends and his girlfriend and in part on his own.

Conditions on the mountain are described as 'rugged, wet and often cold' by travel website Trekking Vietnam, which describes the climb as suited to 'active adventure seekers who are up for a challenge'.

More than £3,700 has so far been raised by wellwishers on an online donations page, money which will go towards the search.

Authorities in Vietnam have announced a $2,200 reward for anyone who finds Mr Webb.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed they were supporting the family and liaising with local authorities.

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/27xxs44

Do you have a Norwich story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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