Kayaker found dead after going missing while kayaking on the Murrumbidgee River south of Canberra

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Emergency service workers have found the body of a man who had earlier gone missing while kayaking on the Murrumbidgee River, south of Canberra.

ACT police said the man had gone kayaking with a group near Point Hut Road but, amid rising river levels and heavy rain, his kayak became stuck under a bridge.

He was reported missing by the group about 2:00pm, when a search commenced downstream.

Police said he was pulled from the water and found to be unresponsive about 6:20pm on Sunday evening.

ACT Policing Inspector Brett Booth said the water was flowing “very fast” and was “very cold”.

At about 6:00pm he said emergency services had paused their search efforts in some places to wait for water levels to subside, but were still searching elsewhere.

“The water levels are very high, the water is flowing very fast and there’s a lot of obstacles underneath the water,” Inspector Booth said.

“We’re in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment.”

He had earlier said they were hopeful they would find the man but were “prepared for him to be deceased”.

A police officer stands wearing high vis before a microphone speaking.
Inspector Brett Booth said the river had been flowing “very fast” and hampered search efforts.(ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

ACT Policing officers, AFP Search and Rescue, AFP Water Police, ACT Fire & Rescue and the ACT State Emergency Service workers had all taken part in the difficult search effort, he said.

“It’s a major search operation — we have significant resources and we’re dedicated to this [search],” he had said.

The group of kayakers who had been with the missing man were also assisting police at Tuggeranong Police Station, he said.

Heavy rainfall has caused chaos across the region, with rivers breaking their banks, roads inundated and thousands of calls for help recorded.

Many towns in the region have been impacted. Volunteers have been sandbagging in Yass and the entire town of Bungendore has been cut off by floodwaters.

Warnings were being issued to motorists not to attempt to cross flooded roads, after a number of rescues across the day.

Police were also urging the public not to enter or play in floodwaters or swollen rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology earlier said the Canberra region had recorded more rainfall on Saturday than in July and August 2019 alone.


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