South Shields Student Dies In Tanzania

24 July 2014, 08:36 | Updated: 24 July 2014, 08:39

A school pupil from South Tyneside has died while on a trip to Tanzania.

The student, from Harton Technology College in South Shields, was taking part in the trip which was organised by True Adventure.

Sir Ken Gibson, the college's executive headteacher, said:
"We were devastated to hear the awful news about one of our sixth-form students.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and with the students and staff who are still in Tanzania

I have been in touch with the family and the parents of the other students, and will be keeping in close contact with the staff in Tanzania.

We are hopeful that they will be flying home as soon as possible and we will have professional support in place for all concerned.''

The team of 10 young adults, 2 college staff and 1 expedition leader had been completing a 28-day expedition, trekking in the Uluguru region of southern Tanzania and working on a charity project to construct sports facilities in a local school.

They were trekking on day 19 of their expedition when the incident occurred.

True Adventure’s Operations Room in the UK was notified by satellite phone in the afternoon (UK time) of 22nd July that one of the team had suffered an allergic reaction.

The team’s expedition leader immediately administered CPR and EpiPens, but sadly he could not be resuscitated. 

A statement on True Adventure's website says:
"Expedition company True Adventure can confirm that on 22 July 2014 one of its expedition members travelling in Tanzania from Harton Technology College had a fatal allergic reaction.

Tragically, despite receiving immediate first aid and treatment with EpiPens, the 18-year old male could not be resuscitated. 

The thoughts and condolences of all at True Adventure are with his family and friends and the organisation’s efforts are fully focused on ensuring they are supported in any way possible."
The cause of the allergic reaction has not been confirmed.

Dan Trueman, Managing Director of True Adventure said,
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the young man’s family and friends at this difficult time.  We are fully committed to supporting all those involved as best we can and have specialist trauma counsellors available while also working tirelessly to gather the facts so we can understand exactly what happened.
I cannot stress how impressed we have been by the resilience, determination and bravery shown by all members of the expedition team in the aftermath of this incident, they have been a great credit to their families and their college.”

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said:
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

We will be offering counselling and any other support that we can to those affected by this tragic incident.''

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said:
"We are aware of the death of a British national in Tanzania on July 22. We are providing consular assistance at this sad time.''