South East Wales

Charity for Laos victim Johanna Powell's searchers

Johanna Powell Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Johanna Powell was on holiday celebrating a friend's 40th birthday

The family of a woman who died after a boat accident will set up a charity to help villagers in Laos who searched for her when she was missing.

Johanna Powell's relatives want to thank local people in the area around Pak Beng for their efforts after a tourist boat she was on capsized.

The body of Ms Powell, 37, was found further down the Mekong River two days after last Saturday's accident.

Nine other tourists and three crew members escaped.

"We're looking to set up a charity in Johanna's name," said her brother-in-law, Dean Price.

"We want to make sure that the money goes to the villagers out there who searched for Johanna. We understand that when the police search stopped the villagers were carrying on into the night.

"They were finding documents, purses and wallets full of money and handing them back. They were totally honest.

"So we want to help the local people where Johanna's life was cut tragically short."

The family are receiving help from the British Embassy in the Laos capital, Vientiane, and would like to buy items through the charity for the villagers such as textbooks and pens, rather than send cash.

The body of Ms Powell, a BBC Wales picture editor living in Cardiff but originally from Pontypridd, is due to be returned next week but a funeral date has yet to be set.

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