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School mourns tragic death of former pupil
10:03am Thursday 5th July 2012 in Local news
Tributes have been paid to a 20-year-old British summer camp instructor who has died in France.
The body of Nathan Thackwray, a former pupil at St Mary’s School in Menston, was found by police divers in Lake Ardres, near Calais.
Mr Thackwray, who is understood to have come from Yeadon, was working for tour operator Acorn, which offers adventure holidays in several European countries.
He was believed to be off duty when the incident happened and, according to French newspaper reports, his body was discovered in the lake at 10.30am on Saturday.
The reports say a search lasting more than five hours had been carried out before Mr Thackwray’s body was found in the lake.
He had drowned, and accidental death has been confirmed, the French papers are reporting.
Acorn said it was “unable to comment at the moment” about Mr Thackwray or the incident, while a spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in France on June 30 and we are providing consular assistance.”
But tributes to Mr Thackwray have been paid by staff at his former school, who described him as “lively” and “popular”.
“The news of Nathan’s untimely death has devastated the whole school community,” the statement from St Mary’s said.
“Nathan is remembered as a lively, outgoing student, popular with both pupils and staff.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”
Online tributes have been appearing on social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
His sister Jessica said she was “devastated” by Mr Thackwray’s death. It is believed Mr Thackwray’s relatives have travelled to France to identify his body.
Acorn, which has headquarters in the Midlands, has been in operation since 1982, and offers trips to school and youth groups in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.