Body of teenager 'attacked by crocodile' found in Kenyan lake

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The body of a British student who vanished during an evening swim while on an adventure holiday in Kenya in a suspected crocodile attack has been recovered.

Amy Nicholls, 18, who had gone to Africa as a gap-year volunteer, was paddling in Lake Challa when she disappeared beneath the surface. Two distressed friends standing near by searched for her but she never resurfaced.

A spokesman for the trip's organisers, Africa and Asia Venture, which is based in Wiltshire, said Miss Nicholls had been told that the lake was safe. "We understand the police are looking into a number of possibilities about what happened and we cannot rule out that she may have been attacked by a crocodile. However, the group checked with local people about conditions in the lake and had been told it was safe to swim in," he said.

The teenager, who lived in Barnet, north London, had been taking part in environmental projects in the region during her year out after leaving school. A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that Miss Nicholls had died on Friday night and added that Kenyan police were investigating the death, which was not being treated as suspicious.

A Kenyan police spokesman said: "She had gone camping with friends and had set up camp near the lake in the Tsavo National Park. Her body has still not been recovered from the 87m-deep lake but police divers are trying to retrieve it."

Miss Nicholls was part of a group of 17 volunteers working on environmental projects at the Taita Discovery Centre, 80 miles from where she disappeared. They had travelled to the crater lake for a weekend of sightseeing.

Miss Nicholls' family has been notified and her father has flown to Kenya to meet officials.

The lake lies on top of a volcanic hill close to Kenya's border with Tanzania, and hundreds of gap-year students have taken part in environment projects at the lake.