Monday 21 January 2019

Search for missing Irish kayaker continues as another man is found alive and well

David Higgins is reported missing
David Higgins is reported missing
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The ongoing search for an Irishman who disappeared during a kayaking accident in Ecuador at the weekend took a positive turn this afternoon after one of the missing men was found alive and well.

David Higgins, (26), a native of Tralee, Co Kerry but who had been living in Galway for a number of years, went missing when he and fellow Irishmen Alex McGourty, (19), of Sligo got into difficulty whilst kayaking.

The pair had been navigating the River Abanico, near the city of Macas, the capital of Morona Santiago province, on Saturday.

Tragically, Mr McGourty’s body was discovered on Saturday.

The search for Mr Higgins and British kayaker Adam Nicolas Vaughan is still ongoing as local police, firefighters and volunteers and a search helicopter comb the land and river.

However, Dominique Kennedy, the Honourary Irish consul based in Ecuador, said there is still a ray of hope in the search for the two missing men after well-known Ecuadorian kayaker Joaquín Meneses was found alive and well around an hour ago.

“He was found along the river bank,” she told

“He had been walking for about 40 hours,” she said.

However, Mr Meneses, who has been joyfully reunited with his family, could not say what happened to the other kayakers following the accident, she said.

“He had no idea,” she said.

“He just got out of the kayak and tried to find (the city of) Macas,”she added.

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