Police name canoeist killed in Forth accident

Mr Tattersall loved the outdoors

A CANOEIST who died earlier today (mon) after he was rescued in a three hour search operation has been named as Michael Tattersall.

The 29-year-old from West Granton Road, Edinburgh, and previously worked as an outdoors instructor.

The keen canoeist was rescued from the Forth after getting into difficulty with three companions, but later died in hospital.

Mr Tattersall, known as Moby to his friends, has had tributes pouring in on his Facebook page since news broke of his death.

A message posted by his girlfriend Mo Airnes said: “Mike was involved in an accident last night and has sadly passed away. We will update you with details when we are able too and thank everyone for their support and love during this very difficult time. (Mo – Mike’s girlfriend)”

Friends have been commenting on the post and sending their condolences to the family and his girlfriend.

One friend, Sarah Jane Gonzalez-Romero said: “oh my god!!! I can’t believe this!!!!We lived together at Uni. He was a wonderful guy with a big heart and we had many fun times together. I’m sooo dreadfully sorry!!!! I can’t imagine the pain you are all going through right now but my heart and thoughts are with you. RIP our lovely Moby!”

Another friend Helen Wright posted: “I can barely breath. Such an amazing guy who never seemed afraid to be living his dreams. I’m so sorry to hear this and so sad. I always assumed our paths would cross again one day. Sending so much love to you, Mo, and all yours and Moby’s family. RIP Moby.

Forth Coastguard was alerted by police at 10.30pm on Sunday after a caller said two canoeists and two swimmers were in difficulty near Granton.

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Kinghorn, Queensferry and Anstruther began a shoreline search whilst the RNLI lifeboats from Queensferry and Fisherow searched the sea with the RAF Rescue Helicopter from Boulmer.

Lothian and Borders Police, Fire Brigade and Scottish Ambulance also attended the scene.

The swimmers made it ashore and one of the Coastguard Rescue Teams found a canoeist at just before 11pm.

The RAF rescue helicopter from Boulmer found the second canoeist at just after 1am. He was said to have been unconscious and suffering from hypothermia.

He was flown to hospital in Edinburgh but later died.

Forth Coastguard said they believed the group were out in the water from about 6pm.

Locals were shocked to hear of the death of Mr Tattersall but said the group should have taken more precautions.

Paul Mitchell, 26, manager of the nearby Cramond Inn, said: “I don’t know what they were trying to prove by going out at night, completely unprepared.

“I know I wouldn’t do it – it was not a good idea.”

Colin Holden, 66, a member of the Lothian Sea Kayak Club said: “It’s always sad when people die through their own ignorance. If you’re going to go out at night, you have to have the skill and necessary equipment.

“There is a certain risk that comes with these kinds of sports and it’s a dangerous hobby if you’re inexperienced and ill equipped.

“Even if you’re a five star paddler, you should always take extra precautions because accidents can happen all the time.”

He added: “If you want to go out, then join a club and build up experience before even considering paddling at night.”

George Reid, owner of Dun Eideann Sea Kayaking Club, said: “We have the spring tide now which means that there’s more water than usual when the tide is in and less when the tide is out. But there wouldn’t have been huge currents last night so perhaps it came down to experience.“If you have suitable experience to paddle at night, it comes down to your own individual decision but to go out at night with no precautions in my eyes is ridiculous.”


  1. Mike has studied outdoor education and worked in the industry for many
    Years, he would never go un-equipped or un-prepared. To suggest this is
    Due to inexperience is shocking and disrespectful. A true gent has died in a
    Tragic accident. RIP my friend xxxxxxxx

  2. My heart goes out to Mikes family and friends.
    I lost my twin brother who tragically passed away while sea kayaking in May this year. I wish you the strength to get thru this difficult time.

  3. To set the record straight, my general comments on kayaking safety were made on the basis of misinformation, and before I even knew the name of the casualty. I am so sorry that they have been misconstrued as critical of Mike’s particular abilities or judgment.

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