The family of a Kerryman who died in a kayaking accident in Ecuador have said while they’re devastated at his death, they’re proud of all he achieved.
26-year-old David Higgins, who was from Tralee and had studied in Galway, went missing on Saturday afternoon along with four other men after their kayaks became caught in a strong current on the Abanico river.
His body was found Monday evening; Sligo man Alex McGourty’s body was found shortly after the accident; English man Adam Vaughan is still missing, while two others were rescued.
In a statement, David Higgins’ family said he was a vibrant and special person who filled their lives with joy.
He packed more living and experiences into his 26 years, than many people do in 80 years.
He excelled in his studies and qualified as an engineer from NUI Galway.
Having gained extensive experience and qualifications as a kayak instructor, he followed his dream, and worked and travelled doing what he loved best – kayaking white water.
They expressed their pride at all he achieved, and said while they’re devastated at the loss of their ‘shining light’, they take comfort knowing he lived his life to the full.
David’s family have extended their sympathies to the families of the others victims, and thanked those who searched for him, and to those who are helping to bring him home.
They’ve asked for privacy over the coming days, and say funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.