The direct reasons that led to the death of 22-year-old British climber Aiden Webb have been confirmed as exhaustion, severe injuries after the fall and starvation in harsh weather, concluded Lao Cai provincial police today after post-mortem examination.
Following six days of searching, at 4 p.m. local time on June 10, the body of British backpacker Aiden Webb was retrieved to Sapa District Hospital before being handed over to his family.
According to the representative of Lao Cao Police, the autopsy results showed no foul play was involved in the death of Webb whose body was discovered by rangers on Mount Fansipan on June 9.
“Before the body handover, the victim’s father has signed a confirmation that the reasons for Aiden Webb’s death was falling while climbing, causing severe injuries in his arm and knees, which led to exhaustion and starvation in harsh weather,” the representative added.
No surgical autopsy was conducted at his family’s request and the handover procedure was completed yesterday, on June 10.
Aiden Webb, 22, was reported missing on June 4 when he was attempting to climb Fansipan, Indochina’s highest mountain, in the northwestern province of Lao Cai.
His aunt, Lisa Shaw Webb, raised the alarm via a widely-shared Facebook post, saying he was last seen on Friday on Mount Fansipan in Hoang Lien National Park. His father and uncle had flown into the country to join the search for the 22-year-old.
Webb, who was described as an experienced climber, was travelling in Vietnam with his girlfriend Bluebell Baughan at the time.
On June 6, Baughan revealed in an interview with the press that her boyfriend had been able to alert her via text message that he had slipped and fallen by a waterfall, hurting his knee and arm. Webb also sent her a map of his whereabouts before his phone ran out of battery.
It sparked a wide-scale search operation in Hoang Lien National Park, with the participation of 200 rangers, police, locals and trained dogs.
A group of Vietnamese also helped by using camera drones to scour the area from a height of 2,800m.
However, authorities said the search became more difficult due to the dense forest and steep terrain.
The operation ended when park rangers discovered Webb’s body at the bottom of a deep ravine six days after he was last contacted.
Fansipan, known as “the roof of Indochina”, is a popular destination for Vietnamese and overseas trekkers.
This is not the first time an incident involving tourists climbing Fansipan has happened.
In 2001, a 17-year-old British girl fell 150m to her death on the mountain during a school trip to Vietnam.
The previous tragedy occurred in 2013 when a Vietnamese university student named Pham Ngoc Anh, 20, disappeared on his way down from the peak. His body has never been found.