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Family speak of heartache as missing man Robert Hanna's kayak found in Scotland

Published 03/11/2015

Carrickfergus man Robert Hanna failed to return from a kayaking trip. Image: PSNI
Carrickfergus man Robert Hanna failed to return from a kayaking trip. Image: PSNI
Members of the public joined search and rescue teams in the hunt for missing kayaker Robert Hanna from Carrickfergus in September.
Members of the public joined search and rescue teams in the hunt for missing kayaker Robert Hanna from Carrickfergus

The daughter of a Carrickfergus man who failed to return home after a kayaking trip has spoken of how much she misses him describing it as a "nightmare".

It comes as police believe the kayak belonging to missing Robert Hanna has been found in Scotland.

Donna Hanna, wife of Robert Hanna, from Carrickfergus, who failed to return after setting off on a kayaking trip on 28 September. Pic BBC
Donna Hanna, wife of Robert Hanna, from Carrickfergus, who failed to return after setting off on a kayaking trip on 28 September. Pic BBC

A major search operation was held for the father of three when he failed to return home after a kayaking trip on September 28.

Police confirmed today a kayak was found in Scotland, near Campbeltown, two weeks ago.

They believe it belongs to the 47-year-old.

His family told the BBC they fear the worst.

His daughter Rachel said: "I obviously miss my dad a lot, he was very important to me.

"Just not having him here, it's just a nightmare. It doesn't feel real, it feels like something you watch in movies or read about and you never expect to put yourself in those situations."

His wife Donna said how she just wants "closure".

She said: "It's just so hard, really hard not to have closure at all.

"It's just, all I can think about is him lying in the sea somewhere and I just want his body to be found. But not to hear anything at all is just so hard."

She said how rumours that had circulated around the town following his disappearance had added to their hurt.

"He wasn't depressed, he hasn't done a runner. It's been an accident that has happened and to think of his children when they are spreading rumours.

"They haven't a clue what the family are going through and to try and walk in our shoes at the minute.

"It's very  hard and it's more upsetting when you do hear rumours it makes it very angry.

Superintendent Ryan Henderson added: “A kayak was found in the Campbelltown area of Scotland on October 18th. We believe that it belongs to Robert Hanna.

“The investigation is ongoing to try and establish what has happened to Mr Hanna and we have endeavoured to update the family at every opportunity, including when the kayak was found, as we are aware how hard this is for them.

"We remain in close contact with Mr Hanna’s family and will continue to do so during this very difficult time.

"I would ask anyone who has any information that may assist us with our enquiries to contact the PSNI on the non-emergency number 101.”

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