Tributes for kayaking victim as probe begins

The woman killed in the freak kayaking accident in Co Kerry this weekend has been named as 36-year-old Brita Waters.

Tributes for the watersport enthusiast from Douglas, Co Cork, have poured in as her friends and loved ones come to terms with the tragedy.

Ms Waters drowned after she got into difficulty kayaking in the Roughty River, Kilgarvan, shortly after noon on Sunday.

She was part of a group of five people who were kayaking on the river that flows into Kenmare, which is said to be a very popular spot among kayaking enthusiasts.

She was pronounced dead at the scene after an extensive search.

The Irish Independent has learned that Ms Waters was secretary of Lir Canoe Club, whose members are understood to be extremely distraught over the accident.

In a statement, Canoeing Ireland said it is “deeply shocked” and saddened to hear of Ms Water’s death.

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the deceased’s family and friends at this sad time,” it said.

Declan O’Sullivan, of Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club, also paid his respects to Ms Waters’s loved ones.

“It’s an extremely sad time for all those in the kayaking community,” he said.

“It sounds like it was just a terrible accident, which could not be prevented. My prayers and sympathies go to all those that knew and loved this young woman.”

Kilgarvan TD Michael Healy-Rae told the Irish Independent the kayaking and canoeing community is very well respected in his locality.

“They’re always a marvellous sight in Kilgarvan and extremely safety conscious.

“They’ve been coming to our community for many years. When something like this happens it can only be described as a terrible and sad tragedy.”

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has decided to carry out an investigation into Ms Waters’s death. The main purpose of the board’s investigation is to establish the cause or causes of a marine casualty with a view of making recommendations to the Transport Minister for the avoidance of similar tragedies.

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