The body of a Bo’ness father-of-three who died in the Philippines should arrive back in Scotland today (Friday).
Christopher Le Plongeon, a diving instructor, collapsed at home on the island of Boracay.
His partner Jenna Stone and colleagues from Emperor Divers carried out CPR while waiting an hour for medics to arrive but their efforts were in vain.
His sister Wendy Trew this week paid tribute to Christopher, who retrained after leaving the army and taught diving in Egypt for 10 years before moving to the Philippines a year ago.
Wendy said: “Our dad, Chris, had been out visiting him for seven weeks and had only returned home on the Monday.
“When dad left him he was happy, fit and healthy. He loved living in the sunshine – he always said he was living the dream.
“We just can’t believe it that this has happened to someone so young.
“My dad is heartbroken – he’s still coping with my mum Bobby’s death two years ago.”
Christopher’s medical insurance did not cover his type of death so the family had to find the money to bring him home.
Wendy, who runs Dakota Equestrian in Bo’ness, said: “People have been really kind and so generous.
“We’ve had donations from friends and family, his work gave us £500 and I’ve been running a raffle in my shop.
“We also had a donation of £475 from someone via Facebook and the Falkirk For Mums Facebook page helped publicise it for us.
“The Old Post Office pub in Linlithgow also raised £109.”
The family has received hundreds of messages of support from around the world – from former soldiers as well as those in the diving community.
Emperor Divers posted a moving tribute to Christopher on its Facebook page.
It said: “Chris was a loyal member of the team and, with his humour and sunny outlook, inspired and instilled confidence in not only the staff who worked alongside him but the many guests that passed through on their way to qualifying as divers.
“It is important for those loved ones to know Chris left a legacy of many happy divers and new instructors who will carry on his good work.
“He will live on through them, wherever they dive or teach.”
Christopher, (38) a former member of the Royal Scots, has another sister Heather, who lives in Bo’ness, and three children – Christopher (18), Adam (16) and Natasha (14).
It is hoped his funeral will take place next week.
Wendy added: “The service will take place in Cuthells and he will be buried in Bo’ness beside mum.
“We’d welcome anyone who knew Christopher and wants to pay their respects.”
For final details of the funeral, contact Thomas Cuthell on (01506) 822159.