Mid Wales

Boat found in river search for kayaker in Llangynidr, Powys

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Media captionAn RAF rescue helicopter joined the search

A boat has been found in the search for a kayaker missing in a river in Powys.

The man in his thirties got into difficulty on the River Usk at Llangynidr, near Crickhowell, shortly before 13:00 GMT on Sunday and has not been seen since.

He was with eight other kayakers out in what Dyfed-Powys Police called "difficult and challenging" conditions.

Rescuers are searching seven miles (11km) of the river for the man, who they said is an experienced kayaker.

Search teams have found a kayak similar to the one being used by the missing man, a BBC reporter at the scene said.

Neil Evans from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue service said the kayaker also had all the correct safety equipment.

The Welsh Ambulance Service, a sniffer dog, Brecon Mountain Rescue Team, the RAF and fire crews are also involved in the search.

"A report was received at approx 1pm today that a kayaker had got into difficulty in the River Usk whilst kayaking with a group and had not been seen since," a police spokesman said.

"The missing kayaker is a man in his thirties. His family have been informed.

"The families of the rest of the kayaking group, who are safe and well, have been informed.

"Weather conditions are very difficult and challenging at the scene. All efforts are being made in the ongoing search and rescue operation.

"We advise people to stay away from the scene for their safety due to the conditions."

Image copyright Alun Thomas BBC
Image caption A range of emergency services were at the scene
Image copyright Nick Palit BBC
Image caption Rescue teams prepare to search the river
Image copyright Matthew Horwood
Image caption The man is his thirties got into difficulties shortly before 13:00 GMT and has not been seen since
Image copyright Matthew horwood
Image caption A police car on the Llangynidr bridge, which was closed as the search got underway

Banks burst

Mid Wales Fire and Rescue service launched rescue boats and cordoned off a section of the river with inflatables.

"We've set a safe systems of work on the river," said a fire service spokesman.

"We've got wading teams and swift water rescues as certain locations.

"Hoses have been inflated on the river as well to catch anyone that comes down."

A worker at the Red Lion pub in Llangynidr said there was a lot of police activity in area and they believed an incident room was being set up at the village hall.

Initial reports suggested two people were missing, but everyone else in the group has been accounted for, police said.

Water levels are high on the River Usk following heavy rain over the weekend.

Earlier on Sunday, the Usk burst its banks at Llanfoist, near Abergavenny.

Image copyright Tim Rogers
Image caption The swollen River Usk was high at Abergavenny on Saturday
Image copyright Tim rogers
Image caption A house at nearby Llanfair Gobion was surrounded by water

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