Middlesbrough man found dead in Laos

A missing man from Middlesbrough has been found dead in Laos. John-Paul Conley, 35, from Middlesbrough, was on a 12-month trip round the world with his partner Kate Downey.

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John-Paul Conley is found dead in Laos

In a statement on their fundraising website, the friends and family of John-Paul Conley announce the news that he has been found dead.

"We have had sad news from Laos.Early on the fourth day of searching, John Paul was found on one of the many beaches on the river and recovered by fishing boat.Our brilliant, funny and much loved friend has gone.Now, John Paul will begin his journey home.Both families are now flying to Bangkok to meet Kate. She is making her way there with John Paul."

– Statement

"James McTiernan, who has been an enduring support throughout, continues to be invaluable in organising what is needed. Kate’s good friends Andrew and Phillippa Mckeown have also arrived in Laos to support her. She is in very good hands.I have no information on how long it might take to get John Paul home. At this stage there is very little else to pass on."

– Statement

"John Paul’s family have been so moved by what you’ve done for him. You can’t imagine.John, Angela, Michele, and Kate’s family, have all asked me to tell you that they can’t thank you enough.Michele will be at home, helping her parents from Middlesbrough.Thank you all so much.Rest in peace Johnny mate."

– Statement

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Parents of John-Paul fly out to help search

John-Paul Conley with his partner Kate Downey. John-Paul got caught in strong currents in a river in Southern Laos.

The parents of a man from Middlesbrough who was swept away while swimming in South East Asia are flying out to help the search.

John-Paul Conley had been travelling through the region with his girlfriend. He got caught in strong currents in a river in Southern Laos.

Parents of missing Middlesbrough man to join search in Laos

The parents of a man from Middlesbrough who was swept away while swimming in a river in South East Asia will fly out tomorrow to join the search effort.

John-Paul Conley, 35, is on a year-long round the world trip with his girlfriend, Kate Downey.

He got into difficulties in strong currents in Southern Laos on Tuesday.

Back home, friends have raised more than £27,000 to help fund the search.

Hope that missing Middlesborough man will be found alive

John-Paul Conley with his partner Kate Downey Credit: Kate Downey

There are still hopes that a Middlesbrough man who went missing while swimming in a the Mekong River in Laos in Southeast Asia will be found alive.

John-Paul Conley was swimming at Tat Had beach when he was pulled downstream.

It is thought he was caught by a fast moving current.

A tourist and local fishermen saw him being taken by the current but not dragged under the water.

This is not the first a swimmer has been swept away in this area, and some have made it onto islands further downstream.

Hopes that John-Paul is still alive

John-Paul Conley with his partner Kate Downey the night before he disapeared Credit: Kate Downey

A friend of missing Middlesbrough man John-Paul Conley, who went missing while swimming in a the Mekong River in Laos in Southeast Asia, has been talking about the ongoing search.

James McTiernan says he is confident they could find him alive.

Si Phan Don riverine archipelago in the Mekong River

"Jonny was swimming at Tat Had beach which has a fairly still lagoon area and moves into a fast flowing stream coming from the Samphamit Waterfall," he told ITV Tyne Tees.

"Jonny was pulled downstream but was not pulled under the water. One tourist and a couple of fishermen saw him go.

"We have all relocated to Kaong Nyai beach which is the next beach south on the map. This is large enough for the helicopter to land."

James says that this is not the first a swimmer has been swept away in this area, and that some have been picked up in the past.

"There are a number of islands downstream so there is a good chance he has managed to pull himself onto one.

"I have been in touch with a surveyor friend who mapped this area and he has given us some excellent advice on where to take the helicopter."

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Search for missing Middlesbrough man in Laos

John Paul Conley Credit: www.gofundme.com

Friends and family were understood to be travelling to South East Asia to help his partner who is co-ordinating the search.

Well-wishers have set up an online appeal to help pay for a local helicopter to carry out sweeps of the area.

Within hours more than £10,000 had been raised for the search, which was thought to cost about £900 an hour.

Writing on the appeal site, Mr Conley's friend Patrick Ruddy said: "John Paul has insurance, but we need to be able to support as many volunteers as we possibly can during these crucial days.

"One friend James, working in the area has put a reward out to the local fishermen, and is traveling down with an English speaking guide.

"This is a huge help, and something we can all help out with."

Search for missing Middlesbrough man

A search is under way for a British tourist who was carried away in a current while swimming in a river in southern Laos.

John-Paul Conley, 35, was on a 12-month trip round the world with his partner Kate Downey when he got into difficulties swimming in the Don Khon 4000 Islands area on Tuesday.

Friends and family were understood to be travelling to South East Asia to help his partner who is co-ordinating the search.

Well-wishers have set up an online appeal to help pay for a local helicopter to carry out sweeps of the area.

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