The devastated family of a Melbourne student killed in a tubing accident in Laos have paid tribute to the teenager, describing him as a generous spirit who made lasting impression on those who met him.
Daniel Eimutis, 19, was on holiday with six friends when he disappeared at Vang Vieng on Monday night, triggering a frantic search.
The former Melbourne High School student's body was discovered three days later just metres from where he had been socialising with friends at the popular backpacker's retreat, his family said in a statement today.
He is believed to have been tubing - the popular practice of floating along the river on an inner tube - when he struck trouble on Sunday night.
Mr Eimutis' family said he had lived life to the fullest, and before his death had been doing what he loved best - "travelling with his mates, experiencing new cultures, meeting people and being by the water".
"Our family is devastated by Daniel's tragic death in Laos," the Eimutis family said.
"Tragically last Sunday night the sudden darkness in Vang Vieng turned what is by daylight a serene waterway in idyllic surrounds into a dangerous environment.
"We can only speculate what happened in those last few minutes of his life. Daniel, a strong swimmer, disappeared and was found in the river three days later just metres away from where he had been socialising with his friends."
They said Mr Eimutis was a respectful teenager whose death had touched his family and many friends from high school, university and the Melbourne High School Old Boys Football Club.
"We would like to thank the hundreds of people, who have sent condolences and posted beautiful words to and about our son on Facebook," they said.
"We must also thank the staff at DFAT [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] and especially the staff at the Australian embassy in Vientiane for their care and assistance in locating Daniel and bringing him home."
The student is the second Australian to die while tubing in the area in the past month. Sydney's Lee Hudswell also died.