An Irish paramedic, a native of county Mayo, with a passion for hiking has lost her life while exploring the scenic Hellfire Bay area in western Australia.
She has been named as Fiona Lavelle (41), originally from Keel, Achill.
Fiona emigrated from Ireland some years ago with her husband John McLoughlin from Islandeady, Castlebar.
Relatives and friends of the respected St. John WA ambulance paramedic, both in Ireland and Australia, are shocked and saddened by her tragic death.
Police are treating the death as ‘non-suspicious’.
Fiona went missing on Tuesday while hiking in the Cape Le Grand National Park.
She may have been accompanied by another female and was driving her Nissan Navara vehicle.
The exact details of what happened are as yet unknown.
Fiona’s body was discovered by a search team yesterday (Wednesday) after her unoccupied car was discovered in a car park
Fiona and her husband John live in Perth.
It is understood that she has been doing relief ambulance work in the Norseman area of Western Australia in recent weeks.
Martin McLoughlin, a member of Mayo County Council, is an uncle of Fiona’s husband, John McLoughlin.
He told Midwest News that “Fiona was a lovely person. She loved the outdoor life, especially hiking in her spare time. Her death is an absolute tragedy”.
According to Martin, Fiona rang her husband, John, around 11 a.m. on Tuesday and told him she was about to start hiking.
She told him she would make contact later in the day but failed to do so.
When she failed to make contact, John contacted the police and a major search operation was mounted.
A report is being prepared for the relevant coroner and a post mortem will be carried out.
It is expected that her remains will be repatriated to Ireland for burial.