Heckmondwike canoeist tragedy

In the last hour, North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that a man who died Kayaking in North Yorkshire at the weekend was 36-year-old Matthew Baird-Parker from Heckmondwike.

Police were called to Arkle Beck near Reeth, Leyburn, yesterday at 1pm, following reports that a man canoeing with friends had got into difficulties.

Police officers were assisted by the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and an RAF air support unit, found him in the water at around 2.30pm.

He was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough by air ambulance where he was pronounced dead.

Friend and colleague Paul McDonnell said: “We were all good friends with Matthew – he was always friendly and was never sad.

“He always had a lot of time for everyone, and he was always willing to listen – he was just a really nice bloke.”

If you have any tributes you want to leave about Matthew, email us at spenborough.editorial@ywng.co.uk.