Bulwell footballer drowned after he was swept out to sea

Ethan Mcken
Ethan Mcken

A body has been found during a search for a teacher from Nottingham who was swept out to sea while on holiday in Bulgaria.

Ethan McKen, 24, was at the Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach, when he was hit by a wave and could not get back to the shore, during a Club 18-30 holiday on Saturday.

Mr McKen, a member of Bulwell FC, was travelling with a group of three friends and had only arrived the day before.

Ethan’s aunt, Kathleen Richardson, paid tribute to the teacher who was due to start a new job in September working with disadvantaged children.

She said: “There is nobody who can say anything bad about the young man.

“He was an absolute star. He has got five brothers and he was the glue for all five of them. He was the one who made arragements for everybody to get together.

“It is just so sad, he had so many plans and he had got so much to look forward to.”

One other member of the group entered the sea, but was safe and recovering in a local medical centre, tour operator Thomas Cook said.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national in Bulgaria and said it was providing consular support to the family.

A spokesman from Club 18-30, which is owned by Thomas Cook, said one of its customers staying at its Sunny Beach resort went missing on Saturday morning shortly after arriving on holiday with a group of five friends.

Local police stopped people entering the water while the search was conducted.

The company has been arranging for Mr McKen’s family to travel to the area, the spokesman confirmed.

A second person, who also got into difficulty, is recovering in a local medical centre.

Formal identification has yet to be completed but tributes have been paid to Mr McKen.

He graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a first class honours degree in sports science and management.

Mr McKen was also an amateur footballer and played for Bulwell FC reserves in Nottingham.

A coach at the club, Andy Radford, said Mr McKen had made an impact despite having only joined a few months ago.