Police confirm that body found is kayaker

Vehicle crime spree hits Hayling Island

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THE body of missing kayaker Stephen Taylor has been found in the Solent, police have confirmed.

A major search was carried out on Saturday night after his family reported him missing when he did not return from a kayaking trip to Lepe.

The search, which saw helicopters, lifeboats and coastguards scour the area for hours, was called off when a body was found near the Isle of Wight at around 11am on Sunday.

His daughter Cara Toplis, from Rowner, paid tribute to her ‘loving father.’

Cara, 34, said: ‘He was a loving caring gent who would help anyone.’

Mr Taylor, who worked at RNAD Frater, in Gosport and lived in Newbroke Road, had two children – Cara and Charlene – and five grandchildren.

A statement was released from Mr Taylor’s family yesterday. They said: ‘The family would like to thank all the emergency services, including volunteer search agencies and the RNLI lifeboats for their efforts in trying to find Stephen.’

Mr Taylor’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

Mr Taylor left Hill Head at around 11.30am on Saturday but did not return that night, when the alarm was raised.