Home » British kayaker, 29, feared dead after vanishing in a river in Switzerland

British kayaker, 29, feared dead after vanishing in a river in Switzerland

British kayaker, 29, feared dead after vanishing in a river in Switzerland

Bren Orton was reported missing on Thursday (Picture: Facebook/Pyranha Kayaks)

A British kayaker is feared to have drowned after going missing on a river in Switzerland.

Bren Orton vanished after getting into trouble on the Melezza River in southern Switzerland, not far from the border with Italy, on Thursday afternoon.

The 29-year-old was reported missing at around 2.45pm, and police and specialist search teams have been hunting for him since then.

Police in Italy are also believed to have joined the search.

It’s feared he was sucked out of his kayak by the strong currents and became trapped underwater, MailOnline reports.

Bren, a celebrated whitewater kayaker, broke a world record in 2018 when he descended the 128ft Big Banana Falls in Mexico in a kayak.

Bren broke a world record in 2018 (Picture: Instagram)
Bren Orton went missing on the Melazza River in Switzerland (Picture: Metro Graphics)

His disappearance was revealed by Pyranha, the British maker of his high performance kayaks, who said in a statement: ‘It is with a heavy heart that we announce an accident involving Bren Orton.

‘While kayaking with a group on the Melezza River in Switzerland, Bren became trapped in a recirculating feature and did not resurface. 

‘Authorities and friends are tirelessly continuing their search efforts, and at this time, Bren is considered missing.’

A spokesman for Ticino Police said: ‘Shortly before 2.45pm in the area of ​​Palagnedra, a man who was previously in a kayak was reported missing in the Melezza river. 

‘The searches – currently unsuccessful and still ongoing – began immediately and involve agents from the cantonal police and, in support, from the Ascona police as well as rescuers from the Locarnese and Valli Ambulance Service’.

Bren has more than 57,000 Instagram followers and his whitewater adventures have inspired kayakers across the globe. Only two days before he vanished he uploaded a clip kayaking down a river in Italy.

He worked as a gravedigger before becoming a professional kayaker, and fell in love with the sport on a primary school trip to the Lake District when he was nine.

Speaking previously he said: ‘In the lead up to getting paid to go kayaking I think I’ve worked almost every job possible.

‘I worked in a call centre, as a labourer on a building site, in a gym, at the national Watersports Centre and as a gravedigger. I did some medical trials to earn money as well.

‘I only did the grave digging for a few months but the medical trials were the big one, even if they were a bit sketchy.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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