British tourist dies on kayak trip off New Zealand

The body of an British tourist who went missing two days ago during a sea trip in a kayak has been found washed up on a kayak on South Island, police said Monday.

Senior Constable Phil Wylie of Nelson police said the body of Rupert Martin, 34, was found by a local resident early Monday on the western shoreline of an area known as Golden Bay in Nelson, near where Martin had started his trip.

He said Martin's partner had identified his body. Police gave Martin's home town as Haverfordwest, in Wales, but his occupation was not immediately known.

Wylie said an extensive search of the shoreline and sea during the weekend had located the man's empty kayak. Martin's paddle had been picked up by a fishing boat 11 kilometers (seven miles) out to sea, he said.

Martin and his Japanese partner had been staying at a backpackers' lodge in the town of Takaka, west of Nelson city, for the past week. Police said the pair had been traveling in New Zealand for about two years.

Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews said the kayaker had taken precautions by wearing a life jacket but appeared to have been caught by rough seas in windy conditions. A post mortem was to be held to determine the cause of death.

Nelson at the top of South Island is 110 kilometers (70 miles) southwest of the capital, Wellington, AP reports.

A. A.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team