Monday 25 September 2017

Kayaker (56) who disappeared in river swollen by Storm Katie named

Searches underway on the River Wey in Surrey, after police officers were called near to the Guildford Borough Council offices, after receiving reports a man had gone into the water after his kayak capsized near the weir at 1.10pm on Monday Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Searches underway on the River Wey in Surrey, after police officers were called near to the Guildford Borough Council offices, after receiving reports a man had gone into the water after his kayak capsized near the weir at 1.10pm on Monday Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Searches underway on the River Wey in Surrey Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Searches underway on the River Wey in Guildford, Surrey Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Searches underway on the River Wey in Guildford, Surrey Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Ben Mitchell

A man whose kayak overturned on a river swollen by Storm Katie has been identified as Grant Broster.

The 56-year-old got into difficulties as he used his family's kayak on the River Wey in Guildford city centre on Monday afternoon.

Surrey Police is continuing its search for Mr Broster with Surrey Fire and Rescue and Surrey Search and Rescue along the River Wey near the Guildford Borough Council offices.

Mr Broster's wife, Rachel, from Guildford, said in a statement released through Surrey Police that their son went into the water to help her husband - but the youngster was pulled to safety.

She said: "Grant was using the family kayak which capsized. He had not seen the flood warnings.

"Our son entered the water to try and help his father but was pulled to safety. Although there have not been any further sightings of Grant, the extensive search continues.

Read more: Man missing after kayak capsized 'went in and got his son to safety'

"The family would like to thank all the emergency services and agencies who are involved in the search for Grant, particularly Surrey Police, for their dedicated help."

The Environment Agency had issued a flood warning for the river in the Godalming area after it was swollen by Storm Katie.

Officials warned the river was "rising steadily throughout the day in response to recent rainfall".

The Wey Kayak Club warned on Twitter on Monday that the river had "dangerous conditions".

Onlookers said the kayak "was being dragged around like a bottle very fast" and while the boy made it to safety, the man vanished in the water.

Christopher Jackson wrote on a community Facebook page: "(I) heard (a) dad telling (his) son how to paddle in passing ... we could see the canoe was being dragged around like a bottle very fast."

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