Divers continue search for missing Kent triathlete


A search is under way for a man who went missing while competing in the swimming leg of a triathlon race.

The man, named locally as Paul Gallihawk, 34, was participating in the Ocean Lake Triathlon at Leybourne Lakes in Kent.

The triathlon consists of a 750m swim in open water, followed by a 14-mile bike ride and a five-mile run.

Concerns were raised about his whereabouts during the event, triggering a search involving police, the fire service, Kent Search and Rescue Team and the National Police Air Service.

The search involving specialist divers was continuing today after the alarm was raised at 8.44am yesterday, a Kent Police spokesman said.

Race organisers posted on Facebook: "We are shocked by what happened yesterday at the Ocean Lake Triathlon and are working closely with the emergency services to do everything that we can to assist them in their search.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

On his JustGiving page, Mr Gallihawk, from Maidstone, told how he was competing to raise money for King's College Hospital in London which looked after his father last year.

As his £300 target more than doubled to more than £650, it emerged that it was his first triathlon.

Messages of concern were posted on the JustGiving site. One wrote: "We in the triathlon community are keeping our fingers crossed for one of our own."

Another read: "I was competing yesterday and am totally shocked. Seems right to donate. Prayers to your family."