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Stephen Thomas, Teen Photographer With Downs Syndrome, Named Among Dead In Canadian Whale Boat Sinking

October 27, 2015

Same Difference is very sad to learn that Stephen Thomas, a keen photographer from Swindon who had Downs Syndrome, was among the 5 British people who lost their lives while whale watching in Canada at the weekend.

Stephen’s age is currently unclear- the BBC reports that he was 17 while the Telegraph says he was 18.

Stephen was a member of the Swindon Downs Syndrome group. A fellow member told the Telegraph that the group would release a statement later.

The Telegraph reports that in 2014, Stephen “won top prize in a photography competition run by the Down’s Syndrome Association with a photograph taken of Moraine Lake while on holiday in Canada. ”

Stephen’s father, David Thomas, 50, worked for Microsoft and also lost his life in the incident.

At the time, Mr Thomas expressed pride in Stephen’s achievement, saying: “It is fantastic that Stephen has been honoured. He’s so delighted and as a family we are all so incredibly proud of him.

“He loves doing photography so much and it is something he has worked very hard at. I think his winning image is really great.”

Stephen’s mother, Julie, 49, was also on the boat. She was rescued and is reportedly recovering from minor injuries in hospital.

Same Difference sends sincere condolences to Julie Thomas and her surviving son, Paul, 22, a student at the University of Nottingham.

Stephen’s winning image for the Downs Syndrome Association photography competition last year is available here. Same Difference links to it in tribute.

Rest in peace David and Stephen Thomas.

Updated 4pm: Same Difference has been sent the following statement and photograph by the Downs Syndrome Association. We publish these with their permission:

Statement from the Down’s Syndrome Association and Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group regarding the death of Stephen and David Thomas

‘Everyone at The Down’s Syndrome Association and the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group were deeply saddened to hear the news of the deaths of Stephen and David Thomas.

Stephen was a very talented young man and a gifted photographer. His love of photography started when he was 8 years old. We were all delighted when Stephen’s beautiful image ‘Moraine Lake’ won the national ‘My Perspective’ photographic competition last year.

Stephen’s father David was a huge supporter of the Down’s Syndrome Association and one of the driving forces behind the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group where he was a Trustee.

All of our thoughts and condolences are with the Thomas family at this terrible time.’
Carol Boys, CEO, Down’s Syndrome Association

Dave and Stephen Thomas

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2015 2:42 pm

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  2. philipburdekin permalink
    October 27, 2015 9:32 pm

    R I P Stephen.

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