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Brave Fight: British Amateur Boxer Dies Trying To Save Dog From Drowning In Benidorm
Paul Lebihan, 25, was swept under the waves after rescuing the distressed animal.
Family of Benidorm tragedy victim in desperate fund-raising bid to bring body home
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'Amazing and selfless' Brit, 25, dies trying to rescue pet dog from drowning in Spain

By Hannah Graham

An "amazing and selfless" Brit has died while trying to rescue his dog from a river, his heartbroken family have confirmed.

Popular Paul Lebihan, 25, from Gateshead, drowned while trying to save his beloved pet in Spain on Monday.

Now his loved ones have appealed for help to bring Paul's body back home.

The tragedy happened in the Bolulla River, near Benidorm, when he was able to free the dog from the current but was unable to escape himself, Chronicle Live reports.

Paul's cousin, Kallym Bell, launched a GoFundMe page in support of Paul's parents, Deborah and Paul Snr.

In less than 24 hours the page had already raised over £7,000, with hundreds of people leaving comments paying tribute to 'one of nicest men you could ever meet'.

Tributes have been paid to Paul, who previously served in the navy (Kallym Bell)

Keen amateur boxer Paul was well known by many people across the Leam Lane Estate, and beloved by colleagues from the several years he spent working in the navy. Kallym, 19, called Paul: "[A]n amazing, selfless man with a heart of gold, always the biggest laugh and the very best to be around."

He said: "He loved being around people, he was very sociable. He loved his boxing, he was a talented boxer, and he loved going out with his friends. He was a very popular kid, very loved."

Questions still remain for the family around the exact circumstances of Paul's death, and his mother Deborah has now flown out to Spain to collect her son's body - but faces hefty costs to fly him home.

Kallym thanked everyone who had contributed to the fundraiser to support the devastated parents and said that any donation, however small, was 'appreciated' and would help bring the much-loved young man home.

Paul with his mum Deborah and dad Paul Snr (Kallym Bell)

He added: "It still hasn't really sunk in, I can't even believe it. We just want him back: he was always on this estate, there's a massive family of us living here and we all grew up around here together and all the family who've died are buried around here. Our family has been in Leam Lane since the estate was built and we want to bring Paul back.

"There's obviously the cost of transporting him back and then the funeral as well. Paul deserves a good funeral, he did a lot for other people and people's donations show that he was very loved.

"He was very selfless - saving the dog shows that. He would do anything for anyone, it's the same with his time in the Navy, it shows how he was willing to put himself before others."

Donations can be made here to help bring Paul home.

He's the fourth person to die in or near the dangerous river in the last month.

Two people, including a guide, were killed on April 8 after being swept away by the current due to heavy rains. They were part of a group of six people.

On April 17 a hiker drowned after falling down the waterfall where the latest tragedy occurred.

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Dive Deeper:
Family's bid to bring body of 'selfless' Gateshead lad who drowned while rescuing his dog home from Spain
Paul Lebihan, from Leam Lane, who has been living in Spain, was pulled from a river near Benidorm by ambulance…
Family's bid to back body of 'amazing' son who drowned saving dog in Spain
Paul Lebihan, 25, tragically passed away on Monday after saving his pet from the current but then getting into trouble…
Brave Fight: British Amateur Boxer Dies Trying To Save Dog From Drowning In Benidorm
Paul Lebihan, 25, was swept under the waves after rescuing the distressed animal.
Family of man who died saving dog from Spanish river fundraise to bring him home
Paul Lebihan, from Gateshead, drowned on Monday after getting into trouble in the Bolulla River near Benidorm.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Brave Fight: British Amateur Boxer Dies Trying To Save Dog From Drowning In Benidorm
Paul Lebihan, 25, was swept under the waves after rescuing the distressed animal.
Family of Benidorm tragedy victim in desperate fund-raising bid to bring body home
Paul Lebihan, of Gateshead, died when he was swept under water when trying to save a drowning dog in a…
Get all your news in one place