Donations from hundreds of people help bring Sunderland fan home after tragic death in Australia

Hundreds of people from around the world touched by the kindness and spirit of a much-loved adventurer who tragically lost his life in Australia have helped raise thousands of pounds to bring him home.

Monday, 31st December 2018, 3:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:34 am
Daniel Wright has been described as an 'eternal traveller'

Daniel Wright died in an horrific car crash on December 18 in Queensland, Australia, after landing his dream job diving the Great Barrier Reef in October,

Desperate to bring him home, the 31-year-old’s family appealed for help raising £10,000 to go towards flying him back to the UK to be with his mum, Elaine Smith.

Dan had just landed his dream job in Australia

His family say Dan, of County Durham, was an ‘eternal traveller’ who lived one hundred lifetimes in his short life and was a ‘shining light’ to so many people.

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In less than a week, friends, family and strangers from across the globe have paid tribute to Dan - raising more than £10,600 to help bring him home.

His grieving family are now able to start the ‘lengthy process’ to bring Dan home and if there are any excess funds they will go towards his funeral.

His sister, Wendy Gribben has thanked everyone who donated on behalf of the family. She said: “We can’t put into words how grateful we are to you all for your heartfelt tributes and generosity.

He was an animal lover and would take in strays on his adventures

“You truly have done Dan proud. He’s one in a million and we were blessed to have him as part of our family.

“We have started making plans to bring Dan home but this is a lengthy process.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. He’s coming home,”

More than 400 people joined together to raise the funds by donating to a Just Giving page set up after Dan’s family found out he wasn’t covered by his diving insurance.

The family say his diving insurance policy only covers non diving related incidents for the first 90 days of his policy - and this time period has recently passed.

Dan, who was a Sunderland AFC supporter, touched the lives of hundreds of people who paid tribute to his kindness and free spirit.

One person who donated said: “I went to school with Dan. He was always lovely to me - a genuinely great lad who lifted my spirits and was never anything but kind. I have no doubt that kindness continued into his adult life.”

Another wrote: “My condolences to you and your family for this tragic loss. Dan was my neighbour for a while in Penida and I’ve known him as a great guy who enjoyed life to the fullest, a true adventurer.”

Dan left his home in Newton Hall ten years ago and had been travelling around the world ever since - visiting places like Bali, Malaysia, Singapore to name just a few.

Having lived in Thailand and Gibraltar - where he worked on a dolphin tour boat - Dan moved to Australia in October this year to start his dream job as a diving instructor on the Great Barrier Reef.

He trained in Thai boxing with the Grand Masters in Thailand and was highly respected in the diving industry.

Kind-hearted Dan was an animal lover and even took a stray dog under his wing in Thailand.