The devastated family of a Worthing backpacker who died in Cambodia have remembered her as an ‘outstandingly kind’ young woman with an ‘enormous zest for life’.
Amelia Bambridge had been travelling on her gap year when she was reported missing on the Cambodian island of Koh Rong two weeks ago following a beach party.
The news sparked a huge search, with hundreds of police officers and volunteers scouring the island for a trace of her.
Amelia’s mother and aunt flew over from the UK, while her brother and father came from their homes in America and Vietnam to join the search party, while other family members raised awareness and funds from back in Worthing.
Her sister Georgie said she had last spoken to Amelia on the day of the party, when she said she was having ‘the time of her life’ travelling.
On Friday, after more than a week of searching, the 21-year-old’s body was discovered at sea, dozens of miles from the island.
A post-mortem carried out at the main hospital in the city of Sihanoukville in Cambodia confirmed the former BHASVIC student died by drowning.
Paying tribute to Amelia, her family described her as ‘an amazing daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend’.
“She cared for everyone and was good to everyone, she was like a twin to her sister Georgie, she was always the one to ‘fix it’,” they said.
“She was full of ambition and expectation and for her future. She had an enormous zest for life.”
A passionate supporter of equality, Amelia ‘genuinely cared about others and wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in’.
They said: “Her passion for helping others was highlighted just a few weeks ago when she spent time in Vietnam helping to teach the Vietnamese children English at her father’s school.”
Amelia loved all animals, especially cats, and became a vegan in a stand against animal cruelty.
Her family described her as a ‘real party girl’ who ‘absolutely loved her music’, adding: “She loved partying but knew her limits and would always make it home without incident.
“More often than not she would be the one looking after other peoples overindulgence and making sure they were ok.”
A ‘sensible and organised girl’, she also loved to lose herself in a good book, and ‘especially loved snuggling up in the company of Harry Potter and Dr Who’.
They said: “Her travelling feet took over and she wanted to explore the world in all its glory, she wanted to spread her wings and do something more rewarding by making a difference to people’s lives, especially those that are less fortunate than ourselves.
“Her family and friends are absolutely devastated and will deeply miss their amazing, courageous, strong and caring young girl forever.”
Amelia’s family are now raising funds to bring her back to Worthing so that she can be laid to rest – donate to the fundraiser here.