Missing Laos swimmer John-Paul Conley 'found dead'

John Paul Conley John-Paul Conley was travelling with his girlfriend Kate

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A British man who went missing after being swept away while swimming in South East Asia has been found dead, his friends have said.

John-Paul Conley, 35, from Middlesbrough, got caught in a strong current on Tuesday. He was in Laos as part of a round-the-world trip.

Family and friends had raised more than £30,000 in an effort to find him.

In a message posted on the fundraising website, friend Patrick Ruddy said Mr Conley was found on a beach on Friday.

Mr Conley was on holiday with his girlfriend Kate Downey, 29.

'Brilliant and funny'

On Thursday Miss Downey said she remained hopeful he would be found alive as he was a "strong swimmer".

But his body was recovered by a fishing boat, Mr Ruddy said.

Map of Laos

Money raised online had paid for a chartered search and rescue helicopter and local fishermen had been carrying out searches of beaches in the Don Khon 4,000 Islands region.

Mr Ruddy thanked everyone who had donated to the effort.

"Our brilliant, funny and much-loved friend has gone," he said.

"Now, John-Paul will begin his journey home. Both families are now flying to Bangkok to meet Kate. She is making her way there with John-Paul."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was providing support to Mr Conley's partner.

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