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Canoeist Matthew Baird-Parker "loved" the water

Matthew Baird-Parker Credit: Stephen Baird-Parker

The family of a kayaker who died after getting into difficulties in a swollen river have said he "loved" the water.

Matthew Baird-Parker was pulled from Arkle Beck at Reeth, North Yorkshire, on Sunday by firefighters but died later in hospital.

The 36-year-old, from Kidderminster, had become trapped in debris.

Mr Baird-Parker's father, Stephen, said his son had been "full of life" and praised the emergency services who had tried to save him.

"If there was a way you could wish to die then he would have wanted to die doing this. He was exceptionally good at it and it is all he wanted to do."

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Canoeist dies after being pulled from Yorkshire river

A canoeist who was pulled from a swollen river near Reeth, North Yorkshire today has died, the Great North Air Ambulance Service said. A spokesman confirmed the man, who was in his 30s, died "despite efforts to save him."

It is believed the canoeist became trapped in debris in the River Arkle, in Arkengarthdale, near Reeth. Firemen went into the water to fix a line to the kayak. The river had been swollen by melt water from the overnight thaw and heavy rain. It is known as a popular and challenging area by kayakers.

"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."

– Spokesman Great North Air Ambulance.