A body has been found by rescuers searching for an athlete who disappeared during the swimming leg of a Kent triathlon race.
The man’s next of kin have named him locally as 34-year-old Paul Gallihawk, who had been missing since the start of a 750m swim at the Ocean Lake Triathlon in Leybourne on Saturday morning.
The alarm was raised after he failed to emerge from the water to collect his bicycle for the proceeding 14-mile bike event.
A search was launched involving police, the fire service, Kent Search and Rescue Team, and the National Police Air Service. Sonar equipment was used to probe a larger area of the lake when the search resumed this morning.
A police spokesman said: ”Officers conducting a search for a 34-year-old man who was taking part in a triathlon at Leybourne Lakes on Saturday 29 August have this morning discovered a body.
“Formal identification is yet to place but the next of kin of the missing triathlete have been notified of the discovery.”
Race organisers posted on Facebook: “We are shocked by what happened (on Saturday) 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.“
A JustGiving page set up by Mr Gallihawk, from Maidstone, said he was competing in the race to raise money for King's College Hospital in London, where his father had been looked after last year.
Mr Gallihawk surpassed his £300 target and the page has now raised over £2,600.
The event was Mr Gallihawk's first triathlon.
Additional reporting by Associated PressReuse content