Mystery as kayaker dies on the Forth

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A MAN has died after a group of kayakers and swimmers got into trouble in waters off Granton.

A major search operation was launched and emergency teams swarmed the coastline from around 10.30pm last night following reports that the two kayakers and two swimmers had got into difficulties near Gipsy Bay.

Three of the casualties reached the shore unaided while one remaining man, a kayaker believed to be in his 30s, was spotted by helicopter and winched to safety before being flown to hospital unconscious and suffering from hypothermia, it has been reported. He was later pronounced dead.

It is not yet known why the men had been in the water last night.

The alarm was raised by a member of the group who had swam to shore and explained to that another swimmer and two kayakers were in difficulty.

A three-hour search ensued which saw Coastguard Rescue Teams from Kinghorn and Queensferry scour the shoreline while the RNLI lifeboats from Queensferry and Fisherrow searched the sea with aerial assistance from the RAF Rescue Helicopter from Boulmer.

Lothian and Borders Police, the Fire Brigade and the Scottish Ambulance Service also attended

The swimmers are understood to have made it ashore and one of the Coastguard Rescue Teams found a canoeist just before 11pm while the search for the second kayaker was stepped up.

At around 1am the RAF rescue helicopter located the man and airlifted him to hospital.

Forth Watch Officer Simon Ward said: “We’re not sure how this group got in to difficulty but it is a timely reminder that as well as wearing the buoyancy aids recommended by their sports governing body, canoeists should carry hand-held VHF, flares and a charged mobile phone so you can call for help as soon as you need it.”

All the people involved are believed to be men aged in their 30s, officials said. A Forth Coastguard spokesman said two people were treated at the scene by ambulance crews, while another was taken to hospital. He is said to have been unconscious and suffering from hypothermia.