A British amateur boxer has drowned trying to rescue his dog from a Spanish river near Benidorm.
Former Royal Navy sailor Paul Lebihan, 24, died Monday night after getting into trouble in the Bolulla River, which has claimed the lives of three other people in the past month.
Lebihan, from Gateshead, was pulled unconscious from the water at a waterfall near the popular beauty spot of Fuentes del Algar, half an hour’s drive north of Benidorm.
Former Royal Navy sailor Paul Lebihan, 24, (left) died Monday night after getting into trouble in the river that has claimed the lives of three other people in the past month
Lebihan, from Gateshead, was pulled unconscious from the water at a waterfall near the popular beauty spot of Fuentes del Algar, half an hour’s drive north of Benidorm. He is said to have drowned after trying to save his dog (pictured together)
Rescue teams search the Bolulla River for Lebihan
The Briton had died trying to save his dog, according to local reports, in an act his family says shows how selfless he was. One of his Facebook photos shows him cuddling with his dog.
A police source confirmed after the drowning that he had been swept by the current.
Friends and loved ones have paid tribute to Lebihan, describing him as a “wonderful, selfless man with a heart of gold.”
Lebihan is believed to have trained at HMS Raleigh, the largest Royal Navy training institute in the South West of England. It consists of a 239 acre main site on the River Lynher in Cornwall.
He was also an avid amateur boxer and was well known at Leam Lane Amateur Boxing Club in the Gateshead housing estate where he grew up.
Paul Lebihan was also an avid amateur boxer and was known at Leam Lane Amateur Boxing Club on the Gateshead housing estate where he grew up
Lebihan is said to have trained at HMS Raleigh, the largest training institute of the Royal Navy in the South West of England
The latest tragedy in the beautiful natural site near the town of Callosa d’En Sarria happened on Monday around 6 p.m.
A helicopter with fire brigade, police and paramedics mobilized as part of the relief effort.
Attempts to resuscitate the victim failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Local reports said witnesses had tried to save him by performing CPR before professionals arrived to take over.
Police sources said Monday they believed the drowned man was British but had only confirmed his nationality today.
His mother Deborah is said to have flown to Spain. Lebihan would have lived in Spain instead of vacationing there.
Tributes are pouring in for the 24-year-old and family members have launched a GoFundMe appeal that has already raised about half of the £15,000 goal to help his family bring Lebihan’s body home and help with funeral expenses.
Profession organizer Kallym Bell, Paul’s cousin, said: “Paul was a wonderful, selfless man with a heart of gold, always the biggest smile and the very best around.”
Lebihan’s friend Lee Garretto, who lives in Gateshead, added on Facebook: ‘Devastated to hear the sad news. RIP brother. Glad we went to Spain last year and came to you.
Top topper with a heart of gold. Thoughts are with the family at this sad time. Let that smile shine there, friend.’
The 25-year-old was pulled unconscious from the water at a waterfall that is part of a popular beauty spot north of Benidorm
His friend Lewis Thompson wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted to write this. I will never forget all the laughter and memories we had together.
“You could go into any room and the place would light up. You were an absolute diamond. Love you, brother.’
Grieving family member Lisa Lebihan said: “No words can describe how we feel. Absolutely devastated. Gone way too soon but will never be forgotten. RIP Paul son.’
The latest tragedy near the beauty spot Fuentes del Algar comes after four people died in the same area this month.
Two people, including a guide, died on April 8 after being swept away by the current after heavy rainfall. They were part of a group of six people.
On April 17, a hiker drowned after falling from the waterfall where the latest tragedy is believed to have occurred, a waterfall known as Bolulla Waterfall.
The waterfull is located in a beautiful ravine just north of the popular beauty spot of Fuentes del Algar – known in English as the Algar Falls.
The Algar Falls are described on travel websites as a ‘fantastic day trip’ for holidaymakers staying in the main coastal towns of the Costa Blanca.
Travel agents offer tours of the area.
Visitors who want to do more than just swim in the rock pools below the falls are advised to bring walking shoes to hike the hills and trails around the rivers Bolulla and Algar.
About a 15-minute hike north of the Algar Falls, the Bolulla Waterfall is a 65-foot waterfall at the end of a ravine known as the Bolulla or Estret de les Penyes ravine, where the tragedies took place .
Source: New feed