Byron man's body found in Bosnia
THE body of 22-year-old Byron Bay man Dylan Etherington, who went missing in Bosnia-Herzegovina in February, has been found by local fishermen near the town of Mostar.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the news yesterday.
“The Bosnian Ministry of Interior has confirmed that a body recovered from the Neretva River in Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 22 was that of 22-year-old Dylan Etherington,” she said.
“Mr Etherington had been missing following a bridge jump in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on February 22.
“Consular staff from the Australian Embassy in Vienna provided consular assistance to the man’s family when they travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina (and since they) returned to Australia.”
It is understood arrangements are underway to return Mr Etherington’s body to Australia.
Mr Etherington was last seen by two friends as he leapt from the historic 20-metre high bridge in the Bosnian town of Mostar.
The bridge is a popular summer diving site for extreme sports enthusiasts and friends said Mr Etherington had been keen to experience it since reading about it in a travel guide.
For nearly 500 years young men have leapt from the bridge as a traditional rite of passage.
The 16th Century architectural wonder was destroyed in the Bosnian war in the 1990s and rebuilt to exact specifications in an effort to bring healing to the war-ravaged region. The tradition of jumping was revived in a modern festival that attracts thousands of spectators each summer.
According to Bosnian police at the time, locals had tried to dissuade Mr Etherington from jumping due to the dangerous conditions.
Melting spring snow and seasonally wet weather combine to make Bosnian rivers treacherous at that time of year.
The icy, swollen Neretva River had risen 10 metres at the time of Mr Etherington’s disappearance, drastically increasing the search area.
At one stage the Australian Embassy in Zagreb contacted Croatian police in border regions near Bosnia-Herzegovina to ensure they were aware of the search.
The Australian Embassy in Vienna liaised with local authorities conducting the search. Australian Consular staff, in conjunction with the British Embassy in Bosnia, assisted the family. Mr Etherington was travelling on a British passport at the time.
The popular 22-year-old, who grew up in Byron Bay, was a keen surfer and a talented film-maker who hadrecently co-produced a successful video for renowned local band, Parkway Drive, and was working on a new documentary.
Graham Nixon, manager of Parkway Drive’s record label, said at the time the young film-maker was ‘doing great things and had a promising career in the industry’.