A YOUNG Byron Bay adventurer is missing and feared drowned after a diving stunt from a famous Bosnian bridge went horribly wrong on Monday.
Dylan Kane Etherington, 22, was last seen by two friends as he leapt from the historic 20-metre high bridge in the town of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Local police spokesman Srecko Bosnjak said Mr Etherington dived into the Neretva River about 12.30pm local time after passers-by had tried to warn him about the dangers of jumping from the bridge in winter.
“Rescue teams are still searching the Neretva, which has risen 10 metres above its normal level,” he said.
The bridge is a popular diving site for extreme sports enthusiasts.
Friends said Mr Etherington had been keen to try it since reading about it in a travel guide.
One of his friends apparently filmed his jump from the bridge into the icy, fast-flowing river
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed that a NSW man was missing after jumping from a bridge in Bosnia and had still not been found late yesterday, Australian time.
“The Australian Embassy in Vienna is liaising with local authorities who are conducting a search for the missing man,” he said.
“Consular staff in Vienna stand ready to provide assistance if required.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have contacted the man’s family in Australia and have promised assistance.”
Mr Etherington’s parents left Byron Bay on Tuesday and are on their way to Bosnia.
The former Byron Bay High student is well remembered by staff and students.
Brett Bromley, who taught Mr Etherington in 2005, was shocked to hear the news and hoped that his former student would be found safe and well.
“He’s a lovely kid who was right into his surfing,” he said.
“He was very popular at school and loved life.”
A childhood friend who asked to remain anonymous said all Mr Etherington’s friends in the Byron Shire were deeply upset and in shock.
“We just can’t believe it, it was so unexpected,” he said.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky guy who was really friendly with everyone, and a really talented filmmaker.
“He’d just spent three months in Asia before heading off to Europe.
“We used to jump off Possum Creek Bridge together as kids.”
Mr Etherington had only recently finished co-producing a music video for popular Byron Bay heavy metal band, Parkway Drive.
Graham Nixon, manager of Parkway Drive’s record label, Resist Records, was shocked when he heard the news on Tuesday.
“Dylan did a lot of the editing and camera work for the video and even filmed me a couple of times,” he said.
“He was doing great things and had a promising career in the industry, given that the first DVD he worked on went platinum.”
Local police were set to resume their search at day break yesterday.
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