British charity worker, 27, is found dead in Cambodian pool

British charity worker, 27, is found dead in Cambodian pool

British charity worker, 27, is found dead in Cambodian gym’s swimming pool a year after moving to the country with his wife

  • Luke Walley is believed to have drowned after blacking out underwater 
  • The 27-year-old lived in capital city Phnom Penh with his Lithuanian wife Emilija 
  • His father John paid tribute to a ‘lovely, thoughtful, genuine person’ 

A British charity worker has been found dead in the swimming pool of a gym in Cambodia. 

Luke Walley is believed to have drowned after blacking out underwater at the pool in Phnom Penh.

The 27-year-old worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature and had moved to Cambodia with his Lithuanian wife Emilija in 2018. 

His father John paid tribute to a ‘brilliant young man’ and a ‘lovely, thoughtful, genuine person who had his entire life ahead of him’. 

Both Luke’s parents are university professors and are still waiting for full details of their son’s death from Cambodian police.  

The former grammar school student from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, had been swimming at a gym close to his home in Phnom Penh.  

British charity worker Luke Walley (pictured) has been found dead in the swimming pool of a gym in Cambodia

One possibility is that Mr Walley suffered ‘shallow water blackout’, which is a form of underwater fainting due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. 

His mother Sophie Witter said ‘everyone will miss Luke… he was a very special person, who touched the lives of all who met him.’

She described Luke as ‘passionate about contributing to the environment and issues relating to developing countries’. 

Luke’s father John said the 27-year-old had been working on global energy sustainability in Cambodia.  

His parents said their family and friends were ‘totally devastated’ by the news.  

Luke was the older brother of Sam, a 25-year-old lawyer, Danny, a 22-year-old medical student and history student Alfie, 20.

Luke Walley is believed to have drowned after blacking out underwater at the pool in Phnom Penh (pictured)

He completed a masters degree in physics at Imperial College London before moving to Cambodia with Emilija.

As well as sustainability Luke was known for his love of sport and music.

He was the bass player in a band called Fallen to Flux, which released an album in 2016.

His parents said the Foreign Office in Phnom Penh had responsibility for co-coordinating the transfer of Luke’s body back to the UK. 

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