Wed, 24 Jan 2018
A FORMER Chieveley man is feared dead after being caught up in flash floods while kayaking in Ecuador.
Adam Vaughan, 22, has not been seen after being swept away in powerful rapids on the Abanico river in the Ecuadorian jungle on Saturday.
Two members of Mr Vaughan's five-strong group, David Higgins, 26, and Alexander MacGourty, 19, both from Ireland, have been confirmed dead.
The other two members of the group Joaquin Meneses, 18, and American Jeremiath Stewart, were both rescued.
Local press reports say more than 100 rescuers have been involved in the search for survivors.
The former Downs School student had moved to Cardiff to study Spanish Language, graduating last summer.
Mr Vaughan's Spanish teacher at the Downs, Miss Troughton, said of her former student: “It was an absolute pleasure to teach Adam A-level Spanish.
"He was a committed, hardworking student who made fantastic progress over the two years.
"He particularly enjoyed studying the cultural aspects of the course; especially learning about different Hispanic communities. This interest led him to study Spanish at Cardiff university and spend a year in Colombia.
"He remained in contact after he left school and described his experiences in Colombia with much enthusiasm. Adam was not only a great ambassador for The Downs, but for life in general.”
Headteacher Chris Prosser said “Adam was a well-respected student and a wonderful ambassador for the school. Our school community is devastated by this shocking news and our thoughts go out to his family.”