Harrowing search ended in tragedy on Findhorn as more rain expected

Findhorn claims another victim
Findhorn claimed another victim following Storm Frank

A BURGHEAD COASTGUARD team has warned water sports enthusiasts to be wary after they recovered the body of a kayaker from the River Findhorn.

Coastguard and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews returned to the river at the Elephant’s Rock at first light on Hogmanay morning when they recovered the body of the as yet unnamed kayaker.  Their initial efforts had been called off the previous evening.

The coastguard team located the man 500 yards from where his bright orange kayak was located snagged in branches. A member of the team said: “When we first arrived on Wednesday the man was almost submerged and it would have been too dangerous to make any rescue effort.

“We had a helicopter here but pilots advised it would be unsafe and the fire crew said much the same – the conditions were extreme. I understand that is what kayakers sometimes look for, but if something goes wrong then this can be the consequence.”

The river had swollen as a result of the rain brought by Storm Frank on Wednesday, which devastated large parts of neighbouring Aberdeenshire. Last night the Met Office issued warnings that more rain was in store today and over the weekend, issuing an Amber warning for Aberdeenshire and Moray.

A spokesman said: “This rain is not expected to be as intense as was experienced during Storm Frank, however the persistence of the rain will allow large accumulations to build up. People should be prepared for the likelihood of both surface and river flooding along with disruption on roads.”