Belfast Telegraph

Probe to discover if body on Newry beach is missing kayaker

By Patrice Dougan

Police are investigating if a body which washed up on a Newry beach is that of missing kayaker Mark McGowan.

The 37-year-old went missing two weeks ago on Carlingford Lough.

The body was found washed up on Cranfield Beach, Co Down yesterday. It was discovered by a member of the public, who contacted police at around 11am.

Formal identification of the body has yet to take place.

However, a PSNI spokesperson said officers were liasing with their Garda counterparts to establish the identity of the person.

Mr McGowan was from Carlingford in Co Louth.

He was last seen on Monday October 10 at around 7.30pm.

It is believed he disappeared from Carlingford Lough after taking his kayak out to sea.

A full-scale search and rescue operation was co-ordinated by Dublin and Belfast coastguard.

The Kilkeel lifeboat crew, along with the Co Down Coastguard, Greenore lifeboat and a Dublin rescue helicopter all joined in the rescue efforts, but poor weather conditions hampered the search.

Local fishermen spotted his paddle in the area two days after he went missing.

His blue kayak was also found - at Killowen Point on the north side of the lough.

The authorities last night confirmed the discovery of the body, and said it was being investigated.

"Police are working to establish the identity of the deceased," a PSNI spokesman said.

"There are no further details at this stage."

At the time of his disappearance Mr McGowan was described as being 5ft 7ins tall, of medium build with a tanned complexion.

He had short, bleached blonde hair and was last seen wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and white trainers.

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