Norwegian police statement

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The search for a Scarborough kayaker feared drowned after going missing on a swollen river in Norway has been delayed for at least a week.

Former Raincliffe School student Jason Raper, 19, went missing in the River Raundalen in Voss at the end of last month.

Martin Stirling, spokesman for Scarborough Canoe Club, of which the teenager is a member, said his family had accepted that searchers would now be looking for a body.

Mr Stirling added: “Some of his friends went out to continue the search themselves but when they got there they discovered the water levels were so massive that they couldn’t go down the river at all – it was far too high.

“Police have told them it could be a week before the search resumes.”

He added that Mr Raper’s family had been overwhelmed by the support they had received from his friends as well as the thousands of Facebook tributes and a family statement was expected shortly.

“The support that they are getting is just unbelievable,” he said. “The number of people who have been in touch has been incredible.”

A full-scale search was soon stood down but local police still monitored bridges along the river in the hope of finding him.

Mr Raper has been an enthusiastic kayaker since discovering the sport on a course when he was 13 years old and is a committee member of the Scarborough club. He has now been missing for 12 days.