Family’s anguish as Jason found in lake

Jason Raper, the 19-year-old Scarborough kayaker, pictured in the French Alps in June, shortly before his tragic trip to Norway.
Jason Raper, the 19-year-old Scarborough kayaker, pictured in the French Alps in June, shortly before his tragic trip to Norway.

The body has been found of a Scarborough teenager who went missing in a swollen Norwegian river four months ago.

After the disappearance of 19-year-old kayaker Jason Raper, a full-scale search was mounted but it had to be stood down because of the high water levels.

A family spokeswoman said that his body has now been found in a lake and he has been brought home.

In a statement she said: “Jason Raper, the 19-year-old Scarborough and York kayaker who went missing in Norway back in June, was found in a lake, near Voss, by a member of the Norwegian public in August.

“The Norwegian police, the public and newspapers have been very respectful of Jason and his family throughout the ordeal. Jason has very 
recently been repatriated back to the UK.”

She added that they were hoping to hold a special service to celebrate his life, which they have called “Jason’s Day”, which would hopefully take place on Friday, October 19, in Octon.

The spokeswoman said: “The family would like to invite any friends and acquaintances of Jason who would like to pay their last respects at his celebration day. Donations will be collected on the day and online for two or three charities yet to be decided.”

Mr Raper, a joiner and former Raincliffe School student, went missing in late-June and the initial full-scale search involved dog teams and helicopters.

After the search was stood down police still monitored bridges along the River Raundalen in the hope of finding him.

Speaking at the time Ivor Hellene, of Hordaland Police, said: “The river is very high and too powerful. We have to wait until the river is lower so we are waiting for the weather to improve.”

He added that once the river level had dropped police would be able to use a net across the river but it was unlikely that police divers would be able to search the river until August

Mr Raper had been an enthusiastic kayaker since discovering the sport on a course when he was 13 years old and was a committee member of the Scarborough and District Canoe Club.

He was believed to have been in Norway for an extreme sports festival at Voss, in Hordaland in the west of the country, and had left Scarborough on June 14 for a five-week adventure holiday in Europe.

Earlier this year Mr Raper raised around £6,000 for the Great North Air Ambulance following a three-day kayak trip along the River Ure in memory of his friend Kate Stainsby, who died during a canoe trip in Cumbria on New Year’s Day.

While he was missing family members were overwhelmed by the by the support they received from his friends as well as thousands of Facebook tributes.

• For further information check next week’s Scarborough News for a family announcement or contact Carole Tindell on (01723) 582323. Family and club flowers only are requested.