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'Natalie always had a smile and always said hello ..we'll miss her' AFRICA DROWNING TRAGEDY TRIBUTES FOR GOOD SAMARITAN.

Byline: BY PAT FLANAGAN

THIS is tragic Africa drowning girl Natalie Higgins at her happiest...enjoying a night out with pals at the Galway races.

The beautiful 24-year-old Good Samaritan was only days into her volunteer work in Ghana when she died in a swimming accident on Saturday.

And yesterday pals paid heartbreaking tributes to the kind-hearted missionary.

Some were strangers who sent messages to her Bebo site sympathising with her family and friends.

Natalie had told pals to "watch this space" so she could update them on her mission.

But the only new comments yesterday were from those mourning her death.

One wrote: "So, so sorry to hear about poor Natalie. I remember her from school and she always was such a happy person.

"I didn't know her to talk to just to say hi to, but she always had a smile and said hello. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends."

Pal Lorraine McCabe, in a message to Natalie's family, said: "I was shocked and so sorry to hear about Natalie. I had the pleasure of working with her in the Spanish Arch London, lovely girl, and will be missed, my deepest sympathy."

Another added: "I didn't know Natalie but my heart goes out 2 her friends and family, sorry for your loss. Rip X."

Shortly before travelling to the African country Natalie told pals how she was looking forward to her charity work and joked how it would be "a piece of cake".

She wrote: "Well it's nearly here!

I'm off to volunteer in Ghana this May and the fundraising is just beginning. But until then I'm just a busy little beaver.

"I'm completing my childcare and special needs cert, doing two sets of work experience, found working most evenings in the Newpark Hotel and now fundraising too.

"So I should find working in Ghana a piece of cake!

"Watch this space cause it'll be my main form of contact!!"

The pretty brunette got into difficulties when she joined two other volunteers for a swim in the sea. The others made it back safely.

It is not known when her body will be flown home.

CAPTION(S):

HAPPY TIMES Natalie Higgins, right, with a friend at the Galway Races in 2007; POPULAR Natalie, centre, with group of her mates; FUN-LOVING Having a laugh with another pal
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2008
Words:390
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