Raphaël Ibañez kayak accident: what we know about the tragedy that cost his friend his life

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The drama took place on Monday in northwestern Spain on the Deva river during a kayak trip. Raphaël Ibañez, coach of the XV of France and his friend, Fabrice Labarrière, had an accident that was fatal

Raphaël Ibañez and his childhood friend Fabrice Labarrière were in the midst of an attempt to descend the Deva River in northwestern Spain. when the fatal accident occurred. The tragedy occurred on Monday morning, near the town of La Hermida, where the friend of the manager of the XV of France died.

The circumstances of the tragedy.

The trip of the two friends began from the bridge of the town of La Hermida, where witnesses saw the two men getting ready and getting into the water, explains the Spanish regional newspaper. The Mountain Journal. And it was about 800 meters away that the tragedy occurred. Fabrice Labarrière fell into the water due to strong currents and was unable to surface. The alert would have been given at 10 in the morning, and despite the deployment of an important rescue device, the body of Raphaël Ibañez’s friend could be removed from the waters at 4:30 p.m. As explained by a relative of the former French VX player to southwesthe “did all he could to save him, but to no avail”.

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XV of France: “He did everything to save him, but in vain…” Raphaël Ibáñez witnessed the death of his friend during a kayak trip

“Fabrice fell out of his boat and got caught in the eddies under a rock and branches. He drowned. Raphaël was by his side,” explained a close friend of the Blues manager to our teammates. Parisian.

The important device launched

An important investigation system dependent on the Spanish Civil Guard has been set up, explains Southwest. Two helicopters were at the scene of the tragedy. A crane had to be deployed to remove tree trunks and branches accumulated near the body, which was located around 3:00 p.m. Always according to our colleagues, a group of Civil Guard divers intervened with agents specialized in mountain interventions to remove the lifeless body of Fabrice Labarrière from the water.

Without a guide and “without the right equipment”

The Deva, which flows through this mountainous region of Spain, has been particularly choppy in recent days. Trade. In particular due to a significant snow melt the weekend before the tragedy.

“It was reckless of them to go there alone and without the right equipment. It’s a very difficult area, you have to have experience,” said the Parisian the vice president of Acanta, an association that brings together tourism professionals in the region. “The sector is open from Thursday to Sunday to be sure to have emergency personnel and associations available if necessary.”

“Very shocked”, according to our colleagues, Raphaël Ibañez did not want to speak publicly about the circumstances of this tragedy. He is still there in Spain and is in charge of the repatriation to France of the body of his friend.

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