WILD WATER: A photo taken in the upper reaches of the Nymboida River. The remote terrain made it difficult to reach the body of the 60-year-old who died on Tuesday.
WILD WATER: A photo taken in the upper reaches of the Nymboida River. The remote terrain made it difficult to reach the body of the 60-year-old who died on Tuesday.

Kayaker, 60, dies in rapids

THE death of a kayaker on the Nymboida River near Dorrigo National Park has been labelled a tragic accident.

He has been identified as a Coffs Coast man in his 60s.

An elaborate mission was put into action on Wednesday, with PolAir and Police Rescue officers being winched into a remote stretch of the river between Platypus Flat and Cod Hole to retrieve the body from the riverbank.

It was retrieved about 2pm.

Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said it appeared the man was kayaking with two mates when a mishap occurred that led to his death.

"Early investigations indicate they were quite experienced and well prepared for kayaking," Insp Jameson said.

"It appears to be a tragic accident."

It is believed the man's two kayaking companions attended the Coffs Harbour Police station last night to assist police with investigations.

Owner of Liquid Assets Adventure Company Bob Palmer, who often runs white water rafting tours in the area, used his experience to assist police with his knowledge of the remote terrain.

He said it appeared the body was located near the Devil's Cauldron, a two-stage rapid which is one of three notoriously difficult sections of rapids in the 6km stretch from Platypus Flat and Cod Hole.

Mr Palmer said low water levels in the river would make the drop from the top of the rapids a lot further and increase the possibility of entrapment.

"The kayaking industry is quite big up there, but experienced kayakers only," Mr Palmer said.

"The dangers change and fluctuate with the water levels so it's not a river for novice kayakers.

"It's a very unfortunate event."

Nymboida Canoe Centre's Janelle Young said the no-one from the group had anything to do with the canoe centre.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.