RESCUERS searching for a British kayaker who went missing on the Melezza River in Switzerland two weeks ago say they have found the 29-year-old's remains.

Tributes paid as body of missing kayaking legend Bren Orton is found in Lake Maggiore

RESCUERS searching for a British kayaker who went missing on the Melezza River in Switzerland two weeks ago say they have found the 29-year-old’s remains.

Hugely popular ‘extreme kayaker’ Bren Orton disappeared while paddling with a group near Ticino on a stretch of fast-running rapids. It is understood witnesses believe he became trapped in a recirculating feature.

Mr Orton was well known in the water sports community for his thrill-seeking which saw him set the British record for the highest waterfall descent after dropping 128ft down Mexico’s ‘Big Banana Falls’.

Last night, Swiss police confirmed the discovery of Mr Orton’s body in Maggiore – the lake that separates Switzerland and Italy.

“The alarm was triggered by a sailor who found the body in the water and immediately notified the emergency services,” a spokesperson for the Swiss authorities said.

“Shortly before 1pm in Locarno, the lifeless body of the man who disappeared on May 16 while kayaking in the Melezza was found in the waters of Lake Maggiore.”

The adventurer was also an ambassador for Pyranha Kayaks, which is based in Runcorn, close to his hometown of Warrington.

The 53-year-old British manufacturer was quick to pay a tribute to the late athlete.

“It is with immense sadness that we announce that our friend and ambassador Bren Orton is no longer with us,” a statement read.

“It has been reported that Bren’s body was recovered yesterday in Lago Maggiore, Italy, following a tragic accident on the nearby river Melezza on the 16th of May.

“The outpouring of love and support from the paddling community since Bren went missing has been extraordinary. This support has been a profound source of strength for all of us, especially for his family and close friends.

“Sending our love to our paddling family at this time.”

Paddling community body Paddle UK – formerly ‘British Canoeing’ – described Bren, who was part of the GB Freestyle team in the 2015 World Championships in Ottawa, as a “white water kayaking legend”.

“A huge loss to the paddlesport community, Bren Orton’s trailblazing achievements in freestyle and paddling adventures across the world have made a huge impact,” said its CEO Ashley Metcalfe.

“Without question, he will be remembered as one of our sport’s greatest ever ambassadors.

“On behalf of our members, staff and the Board of Paddle UK, I would like to send my condolences to Bren’s family, friends and fellow paddlers.”

Bren Orton tackling a waterfall in Chile six months ago

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