British kayaker dies after 'getting into difficulty' in French river

A British kayaker has died after getting into difficulty in a French river.

The man in his 50s was on a group kayaking trip on the River Durance in Briancon in southeast France on Tuesday afternoon when witnesses spotted some of them in distress, local media reported.

"A rescue operation is under way in the town of Briancon to try to help kayakers in difficulty in the Durance," Hautes-Alpes regional police posted on X.

At least three people were seen struggling in the water, Le Dauphine Libere reported.

Two of them were fighting against the river's strong current to help the third, who had flipped over and was unconscious, according to the French daily regional newspaper.

Two of the kayakers were pulled out of the river uninjured, while the third - a British national - was recovered several kilometres downstream by firefighters and could not be resuscitated despite the best efforts of paramedics.

He is understood to have been an experienced kayaker who got into difficulty after 10 minutes on the water.

"I can confirm the death of a man of English nationality," public prosecutor Marion Lozac'hmeur told Le Dauphine Libere.

Sky News has contacted the UK's foreign office for comment.

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The cause of the accident is being investigated. The high level of the water because of melting snow appears to have been a factor, La Provence reported.

It follows the death of an Irish kayaker on Monday in Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye, the paper reported.