Wang Xiangjun, a Chinese environmentalist known as “Glacier Bro” online, is presumed dead after a waterfall incident in Tibet.
According to Heavy, footage of the incident shows Wang climbing in the area around the base of a glacial waterfall when he loses his balance and falls into icy waters. Local outlet Apple Daily reports that Wang’s friends tried to save him when he fell in, but his jacket was heavy in the water, and they were dragged into the swift-flowing river as well. Wang’s friends were able to make it back to solid ground, though he was swept away.
The incident took place in Lhari County on Dec. 20, according to reports.
Rescuers are still searching for Wang, though a member of the rescue team quoted by China’s Global Times newspaper said that it is “almost impossible” he survived.
On Saturday, a tribute posted to Wang’s social media by his brother seemed to confirm his death.
“My brother… lies forever in his favourite waterfall,” the statement read. “I hope everyone does not hype up [his death], and respect the deceased. For all of his life he was obsessed with glaciers, and gave his life to glaciers. This is the best resting place for him.”
Born in rural Sichuan, Wang was a popular influencer on Chinese social media. He frequently shared photos and videos of his glacial adventures.
He started photographing glaciers in 2013 and gained millions of followers on social media thanks to his videos documenting his adventures. Wang was also an outspoken environmentalist and advocate for greater awareness on the impact of climate change.
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