Body found in search for missing kayaker who disappeared on River Medway in Kent

Police, the coastguard and RNLI had carried out searches using boats and helicopters

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Wednesday 06 April 2016 10:17
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The man's kayak was found drifting on the River Medway
The man's kayak was found drifting on the River Medway

A body has been found in Kent after a kayaker disappeared on the River Medway.

Police, helicopters and the coastguard had been searching for the missing man since Tuesday evening.

A spokesperson for Kent Police said the body, which has not yet been formally identified, was found on a riverbank near the Esplanade in Rochester.

The man's kayak (not pictured) was found drifting

“A body has been found in the search for a missing man believed to have gone kayaking on the River Medway on Tuesday 5 April,” she added.

“The family of a 46-year-old man reported missing has been informed.”

The coastguard launched a major search operation with the RNLI and police after the alarm was raised at 11pm on Tuesday.

The man’s empty kayak was found in the River Medway and his family reported him missing.

"The National Maritime Operations Centre received a call from Vessel Traffic Monitoring at 11pm reporting a drifting kayak,” the UK coastguard said.

"The Sheerness inshore lifeboat went to investigate and found the drifting vessel in the River Medway.

"At around the same time a kayaker, whose kayak matched the description of the drifting vessel, was reported as missing by a family member.

"An immediate search was launched involving the coastguard team, helicopters and lifeboats.”

The Medway Coastguard Rescue Team, the coastguard helicopter from Lydd and two RNLI lifeboats from Sheerness were involved in the search, with assistance from a police helicopter.

The coastguard called off its “extensive” search of the river and estuary from Rochester to the Kingsnorth Power Station, at around 5.30am on Wednesday, when no trace had been found.

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