The coach of France XV, Raphaël Ibañez, “very shocked” after witnessing the death of his friend in a kayak

It was the beautiful project of two childhood friends. An adventure between old friends to enjoy together the beautiful days that come back and enjoy their complicity on the water. Since a month ago, the technician of the XV of France Raphaël Ibañez and his childhood friend Fabrice Labarrière were planning the descent of the River Deva in northwestern Spain until the locals called it the Cantabrian Sea and the French the Bay of Biscay. The duo’s journey came to a tragic end on Monday morning, near the town of La Hermida, where Fabrice died.

“He fell out of his boat and got caught in the eddies under a rock and branches,” says a relative of the former captain of the France rugby team. He drowned. Rafael was next to him. He did everything he could to save him, but to no avail. »

According to the newspaper Trade, the alert was launched around 10 in the morning and required the deployment of significant resources to intervene in what this local newspaper described as a place of “difficult access”, and in an area with strong currents. The body of the 48-year-old Frenchman from the Landes as described by the former prostitute southwestIt was found at the height of two rocks, known in the region as “Las Lágrimas de Don Pelayo” (The tears of Mr. Pelayo).

Raphaël Ibañez stood still

The rescue operation, which required the use of two helicopters, firefighters and civil protection, lasted several hours. The body could not be removed until around 4:30 p.m., after the emergency services cut branches and a trunk, as well as thanks to the use of ropes. The Deva, which runs through this mountainous border region with the Principality of Asturias, has been especially turbulent in recent days, especially due to a significant snow melt this weekend, says El Comercio.

The area where the body was found was difficult to access. DR/Civil Guard

Acanta, an association that brings together tourism professionals in the Cantabrian region, told local media that Raphaël Ibañez and his friend had not called a guide to supervise their departure. He also maintains that the area is only open to canoes from Thursday to Sunday and that the accident area “was not used regularly.”

“It was reckless of them to go there alone and without proper equipment. It is a very difficult area, you have to have experience, the vice president of Acanta, Óscar Sánchez, explains to Parisino-Hoy en Francia. The sector is open from Thursday to Sunday to ensure that emergency personnel and associations are available if necessary. On weekends, many people come to this area. »

“Very shocked”, the manager of the Blues did not want to comment on this drama. He is still in Spain, with his wife, and manages the body’s repatriation to France. The dramatic end of his trip with his friend Fabrice.

Leave a Comment