University of Nottingham graduate dies in Italian Alps during a trip of a lifetime

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Tributes have been paid to a University of Nottingham graduate who died in the Italian Alps.

Keaton Emery, who studied a degree in politics and economics, was found by search and rescue teams on Sunday (September 10).

The 23-year-old, who should have turned 24 this week, went missing on Thursday, September 7, after failing to return from a hike through the mountains near Lake Como, where he was volunteering at a sailing school.

Keaton, originally from Macclesfield, was on a trip of a lifetime when he died, reports the Manchester Evening News.

He was hoping to make it to Australia without ever taking a plane flight, and had set off from Macclesfield in March on his bike.

Keaton Emery set off for his travels on his bike

He cycled all the way to Plymouth where he caught a ferry to France. From there he cycled to Spain and hitchhiked to Italy taking buses along the way.

Jill Paton, of Denton, met Keaton in 2012 while studying at the University of Nottingham together.

Paying tribute to her friend, she said: "He wanted to reach Australia without taking a plane, and I know without a doubt he would have achieved this goal.

"He taught us all a lesson in following your dreams, no matter how many people tell you that you can't.

Keaton with Jill Paton

"Keaton had so much life in him, he could make you smile or even laugh when you were feeling your worst.

"There were countless times when he cheered me up when I thought I'd never feel better. He truly was the sunshine in my life."

Friend Will Roylance also paid tribute to Keaton. He said: "He was a brother to me and he always will be.

"I didn't get to tell him enough how he made my life better.

"I loved him. Make sure you cherish those you love."

Another friend, Louisa Bonnar, said: "He always knew how to make you laugh and put a smile on your face even if you didn't want to.

Keaton Emery

"I can't accept that I won't see him again, clearing out the fridge with his insane hunger."

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are in touch with Italian authorities following the death of a British national in Colico and are providing assistance to his family."