University of St Andrews student died in his sleep whilst on ‘dream holiday’ with friends

Oliver Vaux was described as a ‘kind, compassionate and considerate young man’

A Scottish student has died in his sleep whilst on a “dream holiday” in the French Alps with his friends.

Oliver Vaux, 20-years-old, was found to have died in his sleep on May 26th this year after spending the day canoeing in a local French river “doing what he loved”, the Mirror reports.

The third year physics student at St Andrews was an avid adventurer and canoer, having been elected shortly before his death as Captain of the St Andrews Canoe Club for the incoming year.

Oliver, who was original from Cheadle in Chesire, was described as an “exemplary” student and had plans to continue his studies to a PhD level in order to work abroad as an astrophysicist.

Dr Hamid Ohadi, a lecturer of physics at St Andrews who taught Oliver, said: “Oliver was an exemplary student. He was a rare combination of intelligence and hard work, but also incredibly polite and mindful of his impact and words on others around him.”

Vice Chancellor of St Andrews, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE said: “Enthusiastic about the Canoe Club, Oliver had been elected to become their Captain for the year to come.

“It was on a canoeing holiday in the French Alps that he died in his sleep, surrounded by friends, after spending the day on the river doing what he loved. Oliver is survived by his mother Gail, father Mike and sister Elise.

“Oliver had shown a keen interest in taking his studies further and wider and had planned to continue his studies to PhD level and to make use of opportunities to study and work abroad.

“A young man with huge potential, Oliver embraced life and enjoyed being fully present for his friends and family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Gail, Mike, Elise, Oliver’s wider family and friends, and those who knew and studied with him.”

A Service of Celebration in memory of Oliver will be held this Friday, June 17th at 4pm in the Birnam Arts Centre, Birnam, Dunkeld.

If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article then please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

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Featured image via @saintscanoeclub on Instagram.