TRIBUTES have been paid to a Helsby father who died during a tragic accident while kayaking in North Wales with his friends.
Accomplished canoeist Barry Aldridge, of Bates Lane, Helsby is believed to have been on the River Conwy in Snowdonia on Saturday when he got into difficulties in the river, which was swollen by rain, and drowned.
Neighbours of the father-of-two, who taught at St Michael-in-the-Hamlet Primary School in Aigburth, left flowers on the doorstep of the family home on Monday and paid their respects to the family, saying it was a ‘horrific tragedy’ and a ‘terrible shock’ for everyone involved.
Tributes have been paid to the 57-year-old – who is thought to have moved to the area around two years ago – by pupils and staff at his Liverpool school, who said he was a ‘much-loved and well respected teacher’ and would be greatly missed by all.
At about 3.30pm on Saturday mountain rescue teams, firefighters and paramedics were called out to the river after Mr Aldridge was reported missing.
Later a group of walkers found Mr Aldridge’s body, who is said to have been pulled to the bank but could not be revived.
A North Wales Police spokesman said all the paddlers got into difficulties but that the other kayakers made it safely to the river bank.
A spokesman for the coroner for North Wales, Kirit Champaneria, confirmed an inquest had been opened, and said: “A post-mortem examination has been carried out and the preliminary cause of death is 1A drowning.”