Bren Orton: Body of British 'kayaking legend' found in Italian lake

The body of a British kayaker - described as a "white-water legend" - has been found in a lake in northern Italy.

Bren Orton, 29, had been missing since 16 May, Swiss police said in a statement.

His "lifeless body" was discovered by a sailor in the "waters of Verbano" in northern Italy, officers added.

Orton, who competed on "huge waves and waterfalls across the world", disappeared while kayaking in the Melezza - described online as a "42km Alpine torrent".

He was a professional kayaker and competed internationally, announcing himself on Facebook as a "happy ginger dude".

Paddle UK, canoeing's governing body, said he represented the GB Freestyle team at the 2015 World Championships in Ottawa, making the final in the men's kayak.

He was "known for his distinct freestyle tricks on huge waves and waterfalls across the world", the body added.

Orton was also a "trailblazer", Paddle UK said, adding his "true passion was exploring and running waterfalls, capturing many of his exploits on video, shared across social media to his fellow paddlers and followers".

He had 58,500 followers on Instagram, on which he posted footage of his adventures.

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Orton began kayaking at the age of nine following a school trip, while his "global adventures" started at 16 when he paddled on the White Nile in Uganda, Paddle UK said.

It went on: "He rose to prominence in 2018, after completing the descent of the Big Banana Falls in Mexico.

"The 128-foot fall was the second highest descent made by a kayaker."

Ashley Metcalfe, CEO of Paddle UK, said Orton was a "huge loss to the paddlesport community".

He added: "Without question, he will be remembered as one of our sport's greatest ever ambassadors.

"On behalf of our members, staff and the Board of Paddle UK, I would like to send my condolences to Bren's family, friends and fellow paddlers."