Man dies after falling out of canoe in Cornwall gorge

A man has died after falling out of a canoe in a steep-sided river gorge in Cornwall.

The 49-year-old, who was on holiday with his family, was pulled from the River Fowey at Golitha Falls on the edge of Bodmin Moor at about 15:30 GMT.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said the man was found clinging to a rock and was taken by helicopter to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was later pronounced dead.

Fast water

The police spokesman said they were called to the scene at Draynes, near Liskeard, by reports a canoeist had fallen out of his canoe and was reportedly clinging to a rock.

"A search and rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor (in North Devon) winched the male from the river and he was taken to Derriford Hospital," he said.

Phil Harris, who runs the Badgers' Sett Holiday Cottages around half a mile from the Falls, said the area had experienced heavy rainfall over the last few days.

"The water has certainly been going very fast and we have had a lot of rain," he said.

"I wouldn't have thought it was high enough to canoe but over the last few days it has been very high and very fast-flowing."

The police said they believed the man was canoeing alone and not as part of a group.

Golitha Falls is a nature reserve on the edge of the moor.

According to the website of government agency Natural England it is "an area of woodland occupying a steep-sided valley gorge, with the River Fowey flowing through it in a series of spectacular cascades".

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