Tributes paid to drowned teacher

PUPILS and colleagues paid tribute today to a newly-married teacher who drowned on holiday in Egypt.Luke Day, 31, died after his sailing boat capsized on the Nile in a violent storm on Monday.

Pupils and colleagues paid tribute today to a newly-married teacher who drowned on holiday in Egypt.

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, in 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 described him as a ``brilliant'' teacher who was loved by his students.

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

“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,'' he said.

Mr May said the British teacher 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 is no power and only very limited communications because of damage caused by the storms.

“I believe she is physically OK, but of course she's devastated,'' he said.

British embassy officials are arranging to move Mr Day's body to Cairo so it can be returned to Britain, he added.

Mr May said the teacher was a “lovely bloke'' who left many close friends at the school.

“He was a huge man - about 6ft 4ins - a fit strong man, a bit like a big teddy bear,'' 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 Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire, taught at Costessey High School for four years.

He was acting head of languages and ran the school's French exchange programme.

His pupils left tributes on a number of Facebook pages, including one calling for the school's modern languages block to be renamed in his memory.

One wrote: “Mr Day, what a legend, he made all our French lessons fun! Got to be one of my favourite teachers.''

Another said: “He was the best teacher ever. Always had a laugh and sexy messy hair. I know one thing he touched my life.''

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was providing consular assistance.

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