A body has been found after a British woman went missing following a tsunami in Tonga, according to her family.
Angela Glover, 50, from Brighton, died after an undersea volcano erupted near the Pacific nation on Saturday, sending large waves crashing across the shore.
Her brother, Nick Eleini, said Glover, who ran an animal shelter, had died trying to save her dogs. He said her body had been found by her husband, James, after a search.
Eleini said: “I understand that this terrible accident came about as they tried to rescue their dogs. As you can imagine, her family is devastated. And we respectfully request that we are given privacy to grieve.”
Glover’s family and friends had appealed for information on her whereabouts, with Facebook posts stating that she and her husband had gone home to collect their dogs when the tsunami hit.
The former marketing and advertising worker had been living in Tonga with her husband since 2015. Reports suggested that he had held on to a tree but she and her dogs were washed away.
Speaking to Sky News, Eleini said the couple were well loved in Tonga since moving there. “Angela has always had a deep love of dogs and so started an animal welfare charity called Taws [Tonga Animal Welfare Society]. Its aim was to provide shelter and rehabilitation to dogs before trying to find homes for them. I understand that this terrible accident came about as they tried to rescue their dogs.”
He said James was a skilled tattooist, who had started a tattoo shop called the Happy Sailor.
Eleini said his sister had been found during a search organised by her husband and that he had received confirmation during a stopover in Dubai on his journey back to the UK from Australia, where he lives.
He said: “Angela and James loved their life in Tonga and adored the Tongan people, in particular the Tongan love of family and the Tongan culture. From [when she was] a little girl it was always Angela’s dream to swim with whales and it was Tonga that gave her the opportunity that allowed her to fulfil these dreams. As you can imagine her family is devastated.”
He said he and his mother, who is 85, had been in regular Zoom contact with his sister during the Covid pandemic. “I haven’t got the words in my vocabulary to describe how we are feeling at the moment. This is just a terrible shock that has happened to us.”
He described his sister as “ beautiful”, adding: “She was absolutely a ray of sunshine.
“She loved her life, both when she was working in London, and when she achieved her life’s dream of going to work in the South Pacific. She always wanted to swim with whales, that was a childhood ambition, and that really is what drove her to Tonga.
“We are so proud of her achievement in such short time in Tonga, with her and James starting a business and creating a life there, and her charity work with Taws. She was so committed to it. She loved animals and dogs particularly, and the uglier the dog the more she loved it.”
An Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman reported missing in Tonga and are in contact with the local authorities.”