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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Kayak accident victim identified
Royal Navy helicopter
The pair were taken to hospital by Royal Navy helicopter
A kayaker who died after his boat capsized off the Argyll coast has been named as Freddie Stewart.

Mr Stewart, 23, of Craignish Castle, Craignish, and a 20-year-old friend were on the Sound of Luing, near Oban, when their kayaks overturned.

They were airlifted to hospital suffering from hypothermia and Mr Stewart died a short time later.

His companion was said to be in a "serious but stable" condition in Lorne and Islands District Hospital, Oban.

The alarm was raised on Monday afternoon when the pair were recovered from the water in the Sound of Luing by two passing boats.

It is understood both kayaks capsized in choppy conditions as the pair tried to cross an area known as the Dorus Mor to the island of Garbh Resia.

Freddie was a popular, active lad who was very well known and liked by everyone in the village
Colin Smith
Community council treasurer

The two kayakers held onto one of their upturned boats for an hour before they were rescued.

A Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Gannet airlifted the men to hospital after being scrambled to help search for the pair.

Mr Stewart was described by local people as being a popular, outgoing man who was an accomplished guitarist and had worked for a time as a barman in a local pub.

He had recently returned to his family home, where he lived with parents Ranald and Dawn, younger brother Max and sister Jessica, after studying at university in Glasgow.

Insp Macdonald Stephen, of Oban police, said an investigation was under way into the tragedy.

Mr Stephen said: "This appears to have been a tragic accident and our thoughts are with Freddie's family at this time.

'Procurator fiscal'

"They held onto one of the kayaks for approximately one hour until they were rescued by two passing boats. One of the kayaks has still to be recovered.

"Enquiries are still ongoing into the circumstances surrounding this incident and a full report on the circumstances will be sent to the procurator fiscal."

Colin Smith, treasurer of Craignish Community Council, said the entire village had been "devastated" by the tragedy.

Coastguard car
The coastguard has repeated safety advice to kayakers

Mr Smith said: "Craignish is a small, tight knit community so we are all in shock at this dreadful news.

"Freddie was a popular, active lad who was very well known and liked by everyone in the village. We are all simply devastated by his death."

Andy McMillan, Clyde Coastguard watch manager, said: "We are still uncertain as to what went wrong with this trip on the water but it highlights how cold the water is at this time of year, despite the unseasonable warm weather we're enjoying.

"We had no emergency call, nor any call from a shoreside contact alerting us to the incident.

"Our advice is always to dress in the most appropriate clothing for the time of the year if venturing out on to the water."




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