Police divers find body in River Thames near Richmond

Police divers searching for a kayaker who went missing on the River Thames in south-west London have found a body.

The Metropolitan Police said they could not confirm the identity but the search for the kayaker had been called off.

A 17-year-old boy vanished in the water between Richmond and Glover Island on Sunday afternoon.

London Coastguard co-ordinated the initial search when an upturned boat and paddles were spotted, and police divers resumed the search on Monday.

Three lifeboats and a police helicopter were called in when the crew of the Hammerton's ferry saw the overturned kayak, but the search was ended when the light faded.

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A local resident said a police diver made the discovery, close to where the kayaker went missing, at 13:50 BST on Monday.

Fran Perrow, 47, from Twickenham, south-west London, said she saw a member of the police marine unit in the river near where the kayak was found.

She said the diver signalled for help after he made the discovery and the Coastguard took the body to shore where a white police tent has been erected.

It is understood the kayaker had been taking part in the Richmond Hasler Marathon.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the search to find the kayaker had been called off and efforts to identify the body were continuing.

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