TRIBUTES have poured in for a much loved British expat who tragically died in a free diving accident in Ibiza.
Kevin Smith, aged 35, sadly died after getting into difficulty in the Punta Galera waters just after 6.15pm on Wednesday evening.
Paramedics had tried to revive him with CPR after he was pulled unconscious out of the water but despite their best efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Initial reports suggested that the Briton had been taking photos underwater, however it has since been confirmed that he died after running into trouble while free diving – a form of underwater diving that involves learning to hold your breath for long periods of time.
The sports enthusiast, who was described by his friends as an ‘action man’ and loved by everyone who met him in Ibiza, had moved to the island two years ago and built a successful personal trainer business.
Personal trainer and friend of Kevin, Dan Cater, told the Olive Press of the sadness he felt about his death.
“So sad about Kevin. I played football with him so was pretty rough news when I heard.
“You just need to look at his fundraising page to see how many people he had an impact on,” said Cater.
His death has rocked Ibiza as well as back home in the UK with Love Island star and friend Jack Fowler breaking down in tears in an emotional video shared online about his pal.
He said he felt ‘broken hearted with knowing you are not here anymore’ and how he reminded his friend ‘many times that people like you are so rare to find and that anyone who met you or had you in their life was extremely lucky’.
Fellow British expat Charlie Mills has organised a 260km challenge around the island in memory of the Brit: “Kev was a friend to everyone that knew him and an inspiration to many, with his dedication and passion for life.”
His friend Nick Barlow also paid a poignant tribute to his beloved friend which read:
“To those that may or may not know, the island lost a beautiful soul yesterday. Kevin Smith.
“I only found out this morning, and I wanted to share with you, my thoughts on this special human being…
“I can’t believe my big brother on the island is gone. It doesn’t seem real. I saw you on Monday. You messaged me if I was free yesterday. But now, just your spirit lives on.”
He continued that everything was ‘just starting to take off’ for Kevin and that he had ‘never met anyone with so much energy’ where everything he did in life ‘was always 100%, to the max, no less!’, describing this as his life motto.
“You always did what you loved, and you were so excited about your new venture. Learning to Free Dive,” said Barlow.
A GoFundMe page was set up to bring Kevin’s body home by friend Morgan Brazier with a target of £20,000.
But within hours, the target was exceeded, and now almost £40,000 has been raised.
Morgan wrote on the page about how devastated he was to have lost his friend, saying: “I think I speak for us all when I say that we are heartbroken to of heard the news that our good friend Kevin sadly lost his life in a tragic accident yesterday.”
According to Morgan, Kevin was ‘always on the search to live his dream life’.
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