River route dedicated to tragic kayaker

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A kayaking river route has been dedicated to a Liversedge man who died while taking part in the sport there.

Matthew Baird-Parker died when he became trapped underwater while kayaking in Arkle Beck, North Yorkshire, on January 27.

Fellow kayaker James Pullen, who tried to save the 36-year-old, has now dedicated a route he devised for UK Rivers Guidebook, to Mr Baird-Parker, saying he would not have wanted the accident to put others off paddling the beck.

An inquest into Mr Baird-Parker’s death took place in Richmond on Tuesday, when Coroner Robert Turnbull recorded a verdict of accidental death due to drowning and hypothermia.The court heard from Mr Pullen, who said he and fellow kayaker John Wootton triedfor half an hour to free Mr Baird-Parker after his kayak had became stuck beneath a tree in Arkle Beck.

They raised the alarm and 25 rescuers and two helicopters were despatched – but it took fire officers with specialist equipment 45 minutes to retrieve the kayak with Mr Baird-Parker still trapped inside. SgtStuart Grainger said there was no way the two kayakers would have freed Mr Baird-Parker on their own.