Tragic November: three Australians die in Nepal doing what they lived and loved to do

Michael Davis
Somewhere in eastern Nepal: Michael Davis with the magic of Nepal in the background I Photo: Facebook

4 December 2018: Three Australians, all young and seemingly crazy about Mother Nature, died in Nepal last month pursuing what they loved the most: adventure.

Thirty-three-year-old Michael Davis died on November 15 when he and his team members were descending from Mount Ama Dablam in eastern Nepal. According to a news report, the Newcastle mountaineer fell to his death above Camp-II of the 6812-metre Himalayan peak. The tragic incident occurred when “huge rock fell from high camp” and damaged climbing ropes, the report said.

On October 28, the Ausgrid engineer posted seven pictures on his Facebook account to let his family and friends know that he was “very excited” to be finally embarking on a five-week expedition and that he was on his way to climb “Nepal’s prettiest peak Ama Dablam”. Mr Davis had trained for nine months “on and off” for the adventure, he mentioned in the caption to his Facebook photo album, indicating just how much the Newcastle man was looking forward to the adventure.

Responding to his beautiful pictures depicting Nepal’s magic in the background, his friend Andrew Stagg wrote, “Awesome mate! You are going to love Nepal.”

His final post on social media does show he was loving every bit of it. Caleb Sayers commented, “Man, this looks amazing. I hope you make it to the top.”

Adrian Kiernan
Adrian Kiernan: “humble and dedicated human being” I Photo: Facebook

On the same day, November 15, another Australian lost his life in a white-water mishap in the mighty Karnali River. The kayaking “legend” from Tasmania, Adrian Kiernan, had made his final Facebook post from Western Nepal town of Surkhet: “In surkhet now. Any one want to drop into humla with Louis Bissonnette and I?”

The same friend he tagged to this November 7 status took to Facebook nine days later to pass the tragic news to the kayaking community worldwide.

Mr Bissonnette wrote on his Facebook timeline, “We will remember you as a humble and dedicated human being. A man who lived life to the fullest, through his love for travelling and discovering new places, sparked at a young age by his loving family, further pursued with his wonderful girlfriend, his kayak, and all the people he met and loved along the way.”

He said they were “having the time of our life until the river drastically decided to put an end to it”.

“Adrian was a good friend who was incredibly humble, positive, and caring. He always watched out for everybody on the water and had a powerful calming presence that was felt by everyone,” JAPR Huser wrote on a GoFund page set up to help the Tasmanian adventurer’s family.

By December 4, the page had already exceeded its original target of $5000 by raising $7,890 collected through the generosity of 93 donors.

Cassandra Emary
Cassandra Emary: An inspiring and powerful young woman I Photo: Facebook

The third Australian to die in Nepal last month was another kayaking enthusiast, and the youngest of the three, Cassandra Emary. According to the Australian Rafting Federation’s Facebook page, the Melbourne woman “had only just finished competing for Australia at the Argentina world champs and was looking for(ward) to representing her country on home soil next year”.

The 23-year-old, much loved by Nepali kayaking enthusiasts, died while kayaking on the Seti River in central Nepal. Police told local media that Ms Emary died on November 29 as a result of injuries she sustained while kayaking on the river.

“We feel so privileged to have shared our passion with such a vivacious, infectious, inspiring and powerful young woman,” reads a eulogy on Facebook by the Australian Women’s Rafting Team, “As a team and individuals we are struggling to come to terms with her tragic loss and have been forever changed by her invaluable contribution to this team and our sport.”

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