North East Wales

Teenager who left to sail around the world dies in accident

Bethany Smith Image copyright Gofundme

A Denbighshire teenager who left Wales to sail around the world with her family 10 years ago has fallen to her death in Jamaica.

Bethany Smith, 18, was working as a deckhand on a luxury schooner.

She fell while working high up a mast of the 196 ft (60m) vessel Germania Nova which was berthed in the Jamaican town of Port Antonio, Portland.

Her mother Sarah is in Trinidad, whilst her father David is working in the Netherlands.

The teenager spent her early years in Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen, but her parents set sail from Aberystwyth in April 2007 in their yacht "Cape" along with her younger brother Bryn.

After spending three years cruising around the Mediterranean, the family sailed on to the Canary Islands and west Africa where they spent a further two years before crossing the Atlantic in March 2012.

They have since toured the Caribbean islands extensively, writing about their travels online.

Writing in a blog last year, Ms Smith's mother said the family was delighted she had got a job as a trainee on the Germania Nova.

She joined the crew of the schooner in February last year, later crossing the Atlantic on the vessel for the summer charter season in the Mediterranean.

Jamaican police said Ms Smith was cleaning the schooner's mast on Tuesday afternoon when the ropes became undone and she fell on to the deck.

She died later in hospital from multiple injuries.

A family friend who started a online campaign to help the family meet the costs of the tragedy said Ms Smith would be remembered for being "a generous person and a ray of sunshine who brought laughter and music into the lives of those she met".

The memorial fund has so far raised more than £6,183 (US $7,600) to help her family pay for the travel and funeral costs.

Ms Smith wrote her own blog of her adventures called "Flutingtootingbethany" which talked of her passion for sailing, her experiences as a humanitarian worker in Dominica and her trips home to see family and friends in Wales.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are in contact with the authorities in Jamaica following the death of a British national in Portland and are supporting their family at this very difficult time."

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