British extreme kayaker, 29, feared drowned after becoming 'trapped underwater' in Swiss river

20 May 2024, 11:18 | Updated: 20 May 2024, 11:44

Bren orton, 29, went missing in Switzerland last week
Bren Orton, 29, went missing in Switzerland last week. Picture: Social media

By Flaminia Luck

A British extreme kayaker is feared dead after he went missing in a river in Switzerland after it is thought he became trapped by currents.

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Bren Orton, 29, got into trouble on the Melezza River in the Ticino Region of Switzerland four days ago.

Police and specialist search teams have been searching for him since he went missing at around 2.45pm on Thursday.

The celebrated whitewater kayaker - who in 2018 broke a world record after descending a 128ft high waterfall in Mexico - appears to have been dragged down into the water by recirculating waves.

Police revealed he was sucked out of his kayak and he has not been located since.

Mr Orton got into trouble on the Melezza River
Mr Orton got into trouble on the Melezza River. Picture: Pyranha Kayaks
Mr Orton went missing on Thursday
Mr Orton went missing on Thursday. Picture: Instagram

His disappearance was shared by Pyranha, the British maker of his high performance kayaks, on Friday.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce an accident involving Bren Orton. While kayaking with a group on the Melezza River in Switzerland, Bren became trapped in a recirculating feature and did not resurface.

"Authorities and friends are tirelessly continuing their search efforts, and at this time, Bren is considered missing.

"We kindly ask that everyone respects the privacy of Bren's family and friends during this difficult time by refraining from speculation or posting about the incident.Thank you for your understanding and support," the company said.

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Authorities are looking for the 29-year-old
Authorities are looking for the 29-year-old. Picture: Instagram

Police in nearby Italy are also believed to have been helping with the operation.Friends and fans fear he has died. But police have not confirmed this tragic news. 

A spokesmen for Ticino Police said: "Shortly before 2.45pm in the area of ​​Palagnedra, a man who was previously in a kayak was reported missing in the Melezza river. 

"The searches - currently unsuccessful and still ongoing - began immediately and involve agents from the cantonal police and, in support, from the Ascona police as well as rescuers from the Locarnese and Valli Ambulance Service'.

Mr Orton filmed himself kayaking down a river in Italy less than 48 hours before he vanished.

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Bren Orton - Missing Melezza River, Ticino, Switzerland Thursday, 16th May It is with a heavy heart that we announce...

Posted by Pyranha Kayaks on Friday, May 17, 2024