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from This Is London


Face of Briton killed by crocodile

April 17, 2002

by Patrick McGowan

This is the first published picture of Richard Shadwell, killed by a crocodile while swimming in a river in Borneo.

Richard Shadwell, described as a 'free spirit'
The 35-year-old from Sutton in Surrey, described as a "free spiritÓ by neighbours, is thought to have been dragged beneath the water by a saltwater or estuarine crocodile, the world's largest reptile.

Today consular officials were travelling to the Tanjung Puting national park where Mr Shadwell disappeared on Sunday as he swam behind a boat. Another man swimming nearby had felt something under the water and called to him to get out, but he disappeared before he could make it to shore. His body was found yesterday.

Mr Shadwell, a keen environmentalist, musician and traveller, had lived with his mother, Kathleen, and older brother, Fraser, in the same road in Sutton for 30 years.

Today Mr Shadwell's family said they were "deeply shocked" by the tragedy.

They issued a statement saying: "Richard had been travelling independently in Indonesia since March 12. It is a country he has travelled extensively in before and he had a good command of the language.

"It was reported that two Canadian nationals were with him at the time. It was also reported that an Indonesian national swimming in the vicinity warned the others to get out. Richard cried out and then disappeared."

A neighbour said: "He was the type to take up causes. I suppose he was eccentric, a bit of a free spirit. I think he just didn't want to settle down and do a boring job like the rest of us. He went off to India and Nepal about seven years ago, and he stayed for a year or two."

Thousands of tourists visit the Tanjung Puting national park every year, and its lush tropical habitat has been compared to the Garden of Eden. It covers 753,000 hectares of tropical rainforest, wetlands and mangrove forests. The type of crocodile that killed Mr Shadwell can grow to more than 20 feet and has a history of attacking humans.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd., 17 April 2002

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