British tourist, 34, drowns while kayaking across a lake with his girlfriend as they holidayed in Argentina
- British tourist, named locally as Thomas Warden, found dead in Argentina
- 34-year-old drowned while kayaking across Nahuel Huapi Lake in high winds
- He had been trying to reach tourist town of Bariloche with girlfriend, named locally as Charlotte Inman, when their kayaks capsized
- She swam back to shore, but he did not resurface and his body was later found
A British tourist has been found dead after going missing as he tried to cross a lake in Argentina in a kayak with his girlfriend.
The body of the 34-year-old, named locally as Thomas David McKendrick Warden, was discovered just before midday on Wednesday nearly 20 miles from where he was last seen.
He fell into the water a day earlier as he crossed Nahuel Huapi Lake, a glacial lake with crystal-clear blue waters in the foothills of the Andes in northern Patagonia.
His girlfriend, named locally as Charlotte Inman, raised the alarm when the accident happened on Tuesday morning as they crossed the lake despite high winds to try to reach the famous town of Bariloche from an island called Isla Victoria.
Local authorities had reportedly closed the lake for nautical activities because of the weather conditions shortly before the Brit tourist and his girlfriend attempted the crossing and got into difficulties after being battered by gusts of winds of up to 50mph.
His partner, thought to be 35, is said to have been in another kayak which also overturned before she managed to get back into the boat and reach the coast.
Silvina Palenque, the owner of a house where Charlotte raised the alarm, said she had told her their kayaks had overturned and told local press: ‘She began to row desperately towards the coast to look for help and appeared here.
‘They put her in a medical vehicle with heating and we gave her tea and changed her clothes and looked after her till the authorities arrived.
‘She didn’t speak much Spanish but she kept on repeating in a state of shock, ‘What a bad decision!’
‘She was constantly asking if they were still looking for her boyfriend.’
The missing Brit’s body was found around six miles east of Bariloche and nearly 20 miles from the spot where he vanished.
Local firefighter Lorena Oyarzun, speaking before the grim find, said they had begun a search with police and Naval Prefecture officials around 11am on Tuesday.
Confirming the accident had happened because of the heavy swell on the lake caused by the high winds, she said: ‘The British man’s girlfriend was very nervous and we tried to clam her down.
‘She was also suffering from hypothermia.
‘She kept on repeating that they had taken a bad decision.
‘The conditions on the lake were not suitable for kayaking that day.
‘They decided to try to cross it anyway and sadly this happened.’
The Brit couple reportedly spent Monday night camping on Isla Victoria after reaching the island in their kayaks before setting off for Bariloche on Tuesday morning.
An autopsy is already thought to have taken place, although the results have not yet been released.