Police believe the body is tha of Alistair Collier. Photo: Dorset Police

Police believe the body is tha of Alistair Collier. Photo: Dorset Police

The body of a man and a kayak have been found off the Dorset coast.

Police said although there had been no formal identification they believe it is missing paddler Alistair Collier.

Organisers of a kayak race alerted emergency services after Mr Collier failed to arrive at the event finish in Swanage on Saturday. Police appealed for information on the kayaker’s disappearance.

Dorset Police said the body of the man was discovered in the water next to his kayak, 22 nautical miles (25 miles) south of Tyneham. A fixed-wing Coastguard aircraft crew spotted the body on Sunday and it was recovered by the fisheries-protection patrol ship HMS Tyne. A Coastguard helicopter then flew the body to Poole Hospital.

The discovery followed an extensive search that began on Saturday, continued overnight and into Sunday with RNLI lifeboats from Swanage, Poole, Yarmouth, Mudeford, Bembridge and Weymouth, along with Coastguard rescue teams from Swanage, St Albans, Kimmeridge and Lulworth and Dorset Police.

Coastguard helicopters from Lee-on-Solent, St Athan and Newquay searched overnight and the coastguard fixed-wing aircraft was brought on Sunday morning as the search area widened.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “Formal identification has not yet taken place, but Alistair’s family have been informed and the coroner has been notified.

“We would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search and who has shared the appeal.”

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