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Police lead search for missing kayaker off Northern Ireland

Published 29/09/2015

An air and sea search is being carried out off Portmuck for a missing kayaker
An air and sea search is being carried out off Portmuck for a missing kayaker

Police have been leading the search for a kayaker missing off the east coast of Northern Ireland.

Robert Hanna, 47, was kayaking in the waters off Portmuck at Islandmagee, Co Antrim around lunchtime on Monday.

The Carrickfergus man failed to return home.

A major search co-ordinated by the UK Coastguard was initiated on Monday evening.

Royal Navy, Irish Coast Guard and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) helicopters were involved in the operation, along with lifeboats from Redbay, Donaghadee, Bangor and the all-weather and inshore lifeboats from Larne.

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Portmuck, Larne and Bangor were also involved.

With no sign of the Mr Hanna more than 24 hours after he was last seen, the PSNI has now assumed control of the operation.

PSNI superintendent Ryan Henderson said: "Police received the report that Mr Hanna was missing on Monday afternoon. Since then an extensive air, land and sea search, stretching along the coast and over to Scotland, has been conducted under the co-ordination of the Coast Guard. Unfortunately this has not yet led us to find Mr Hanna.

"Over the coming hours and days we will continue to work with search and rescue teams, concentrating on the coast line, in the hope of finding him and getting him back safely to his family."

He urged anyone with any information about Mr Hanna's whereabouts to come forward.

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