Missing kayaker Alistair Collier. Photo: Dorset Police

Missing kayaker Alistair Collier. Photo: Dorset Police

A major search is continuing for a kayaker who went missing during a race.

Alistair Collier, 60, of Worcester, was taking part in the event near Studland in Dorset.

He was last seen near Swanage Pier about noon on Saturday.

The Coastguard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution began a search for the paddler when he failed to finish the race. All other racers completed the event.

Dorset Police officers also joined the search and appealed for sightings of Mr Collier.

The kayaker was described as white, 5ft 2ins (1.57m) tall, of medium build. He has brown eyes, black greying hair and a goatee and speaks with a northern accent. He was wearing a red life jacket.

He was in a white canoe with stabiliser and a blue stripe on top.

Chief Inspector Heather Dixey of Dorset Police said: “The search for Alistair is continuing, but unfortunately we have not been able to find him.

“We are urging anyone who has seen a man matching Alistair’s description or his kayak since this afternoon to contact us.”

About 15 paddlers were taking part in the race on Saturday. Organisers raised the alarm about 1.45pm when they discovered Mr Collier had not reached the finish.

Two RNLI lifeboats from Swanage and two from Poole searched the area along with Swanage and St Albans Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent. Sea conditions were described as ‘quite rough’.

Mr Collier's kayak has a stabiliser and a blue strip along its top. Photo: Dorset Police

Mr Collier's kayak has a stabiliser and a blue strip along its top. Photo: Dorset Police

Overnight, Coastguard helicopters from Lee-on-Solent, St Athan and Newquay were also involved in the search. Yarmouth and Weymouth lifeboats also took part in the operation, along with Coastguard rescue teams from Swanage, St Albans and Lulworth.

A Coastguard fixed wing aircraft joined the search on Sunday morning, with Swanage, Kimmeridge, St Albans and Lulworth teams continuing the search.

Coastguard duty commander Mark Rodaway said: “We are continuing to search for this kayaker.

“There has been no sign of him or his kayak since yesterday afternoon and we’re obviously very concerned for him. The search will be extended this morning to other areas to allow for the time that has passed and the possibility that he may have got to safety somewhere else.”

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