Body found of world-roaming British kayaker sucked under by rapids

British extreme kayaker Bren Orton died after getting trapped by currents under rapids in Switzerland
British extreme kayaker Bren Orton died after getting trapped by currents under rapids in Switzerland

The body of a British man who went missing while kayaking in Switzerland has been found, local police have said.

Bren Orton, 29, disappeared on May 16 after rapids sucked him underwater in the Melezza River in the Ticino region.

The authorities carried out searches for the adventurerer before a body was found in Lake Maggiore.

“Shortly before 1pm in Locarno, the body of the man who disappeared on May 16 while kayaking in the Melees was found in the waters of Lake Maggiore,” a spokesman for the Swiss police said.

“The alarm was triggered by a sailor who found the body in the water and immediately notified the emergency services.”

Bren's sponsor Pryanha told of their 'immense sadness' at the loss
Bren's sponsor Pryanha told of their 'immense sadness' at the loss

Mr Orton’s disappearance was initially revealed by his sponsor, Pryanha, the British high-performance kayak maker.

He was believed to have been dragged out of his kayak after becoming “trapped in a recirculating feature and did not resurface”.

It was last week reported that a team of 15 kayakers travelled to Switzerland to join the search.

“Every few years we seem to lose a friend to our sport. Each loss is tough, and this one cuts deep,” James Reeves, a former world kayaking champion, wrote on social media in tribute.

“Bren Orton was an incredible human. From his teenage years, his warm smile and friendly nature shone as brightly as his kayaking skills … I was privileged to briefly mentor Bren in his early years, and then watched in awe as he rose to became one of the greatest whitewater kayakers ever.”

Bren
Bren set a world record in 2018 after plunging 128ft down Big Banana Falls in Mexico

Mr Orton was a special media influencer who set a world record in 2018 after plunging 128ft down Big Banana Falls in Mexico.

Pryanha told the BBC: “It is with immense sadness that we announce that our friend and ambassador Bren Orton is no longer with us.”

The Warrington-based kayaker travelled the world, filming his exploits for social media and often expressing love for his sport.

In a 2020 interview, he described kayaking as a “sport that challenges you on so many levels, provides access to some of the nicest people on the planet and takes a kid from Warrington to Africa in pursuit of the best rapids”.

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