Former Thetford teacher drowns in Egypt

Steve DownesPupils and colleagues are today mourning a 'brilliant' Norfolk schoolteacher who drowned while on holiday in Egypt.Newly-married Luke Day, 31, died after his sailing boat capsized on the Nile in a violent storm on Monday.Steve Downes

Pupils and colleagues are today mourning a 'brilliant' Norfolk schoolteacher who drowned while on holiday in Egypt.

Newly-married Luke Day, 31, died after his sailing boat capsized on the Nile in a violent storm on Monday.

His wife Sophie survived the incident at Aswan in southern Egypt and is due to fly back to the UK today.

Mr Day had taken six months off from his job teaching French at Costessey High School near Norwich after getting married in the summer.


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He went on a long cycling trip around Europe with his wife and was due to return to the school next month after a three-week break in Egypt.

Headteacher Philip May said he was a 'brilliant' teacher, while pupils left tributes on Facebook, including one who said: 'He was the best teacher ever. I know one thing: he touched my life.'

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Mr May said the couple went out on a Nile cruise in a felucca, a traditional sailing boat, when the atrocious weather struck.

He said: 'This fierce storm blew up, it swamped the boat and capsized it. They had to get to shore. Luke's wife did, he didn't.'

Mr May said Mr Day was very strong and fit, and speculated that he might have drowned after trying to help someone else or hitting his head.

Egyptian police said two other tourists on board the boat, one from India and the other from Canada, survived the incident.

Mr May said Mr Day's wife was stuck in Aswan, where there was no power and only very limited communications because of damage caused by the storms.

He said: 'He was very, very friendly. He was a good, lively teacher who managed his classes well. He was a brilliant teacher and the kids loved him. He was very hard-working, very enthusiastic, very keen. This is a big loss to the school - it's a terrible time.'

Mr Day, originally from Lymington in Hampshire, taught at Costessey High School for four years. He was acting head of languages and ran the school's French exchange programme.

t Did you know Mr Day? To offer your own tribute, email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk or call him on 01603 772436.

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