York & North Yorkshire

Canoeist rescued from swollen River Arkle dies

A canoeist who was rescued from a swollen river in North Yorkshire after getting into difficulties has died, police have confirmed.

Firefighters used boats to pull the man from the River Arkle at Reeth. An RAF Sea King helicopter was also dispatched to take part in the rescue operation.

He was taken to hospital by air ambulance, where he later died.

Details of his identity and cause of death are not known. Police believe he had been in the water for some time.

'Large-scale rescue effort'

Firefighters said they were called to the scene on Arkengarthdale Road by paramedics just before 13:00 GMT.

Mountain rescue volunteers said the man was pulled from the water after he had become trapped in debris.

A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: "This afternoon we attended an incident on the River Arkle, near Reeth.

"A canoeist, a man in his 30s, was trapped in the river. After a search the man was located and pulled from the water.

"We took a doctor and paramedic to the scene who worked on the patient at the scene and throughout the flight to James Cook University Hospital.

"This was a large-scale rescue effort involving police, fire, RAF and Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

"Sadly, despite everyone's best efforts, the man was later pronounced dead. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Steve Clough attended the scene as part of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

He said the rescue was "very difficult" due to the river being swollen by melting snow.

"There were hazardous river conditions and the whole positioning of the canoe was difficult to deal with."

He added: "Every resource was thrown at it and people really pulled the stops out to help this young man."

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