A newlywed who drowned while taking photos in her wedding dress has been described as a 'really fun girl', by her devastated friends and family.
Canadian Maria Pantazopoulos, 30, was taking part in a new trend in bridal photography known as 'trash the dress', where brides destroy their dress as part of the wedding celebrations.
Ms Pantazopoulos wore her dress as she waded into the water of the Ouareau River near Montreal, but quickly struck trouble as the dress filled with water and she began to sink.
"She had her wedding dress on and she said, 'take some pictures of me while I swim a little bit in the lake,' she went in and her dress got heavy, I tried everything I could to save her," photographer Louis Pagakis told local media.
"I jumped in; I was screaming and yelling; we tried our best."
But Mr Pagakis was unable to rescue her and Ms Pantazopoulos was swept away by the current of the Ouareau River and taken under water.
Police found her four hours after the incident when a local diver searched a deep water basin.
Friends have paid tribute to Ms Pantazopoulos, saying she lost her life while trying to live it to the fullest.
"She’s a really fun girl, and she just didn't want her wedding dress sitting in a box in the closet," Leeza Pousoulidis said. "She said 'I want to have fun with my wedding dress. I want to have great pictures and memories of me in my wedding dress'."
Ms Pantazopoulos's work colleagues were also shocked by the tragedy.
"She was really well liked by everyone here," real estate agent Johanne Grenier. "For us, today is a really sad day."Ms Pantazopoulos leaves behind her new husband, parents and one brother.
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