Friday 20 October 2017

'Freak wave' killed aid worker

Brian McDonald and Shane Hickey

THE young Irish aid worker who was drowned in Ghana died after a freak wave took her out to sea, it has emerged.

Natalie Higgins (24) from Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway, was paddling with two friends at the water's edge in the south of the country moments before she lost her life.

Natalie (right) had only travelled to Ghana 10 days earlier to spend six months working at an orphanage on behalf of a British-based charity when she lost her life.

Along with two other volunteer workers from the charity, Natalie was washing the sand from her feet when a freak wave crashed onto the shore, pulling all three into the sea at the Gulf of Guinea, said a family friend who did not wish to be identified.

It was originally thought that she had got into difficulties while swimming.

A frantic rescue effort was mounted, but while her two friends were pulled from the current, Natalie disappeared under the water and her body was recovered some time later.

Natalie's parents Noel and Marion, and brothers Keith and Craig, were yesterday comforted by family and friends. It is hoped that her body will be brought back by the weekend.

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