Storm Caroline claims first victim as young man dies in canoe tragedy on "treacherous" river

Storm Caroline is believed to have claimed its first victim after a young man was killed in a canoe tragedy.

Police said the man’s body was pulled from the water in Dartmoor, Devon, at 1.30pm today after he became trapped under a tree for more than three hours when his kayak upturned.

The victim was one of a party of up to six people kayaking when he got into difficulty at 9am.

The death is believed to be the first as a result of Storm Caroline, which has seen Britain walloped by severe gales and snow showers, with tidal surges expected.

The man’s body was pulled from the water by emergency crews after he was trapped for more than three hours
(Image: Devon Live WS)

Inspector Si Jenkinson said the river was full and “fast flowing” at the time of the tragedy, adding the water appeared “treacherous” to him.

He said: “Our log came in shortly after 9am that a male in his 20s has been upturned in a kayak.

“It appears it flipped upside down and the water forced the person under the bank by a tree.

“The call also went to the ambulance service, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team and fire service.”

The man was in a party of six kayaking between Dartmeet and Newbridge
(Image: Devon Live WS)

He continued: “We were on scene fairly quickly, but realised specialist equipment was needed. They had great difficulty in getting him out.

“I understand he was in that position for three hours before getting him out, so we knew, sadly that it wouldn’t be a successful outcome.”

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