Tributes paid to girl, 15, who died kayaking with dad on river

Ellice Murray, 15, was in a double kayak with her dad, Fraser, 44, when it overturned near Kelso on Monday.

Tributes paid to girl, 15, who died kayaking with dad on river SWNS via SWNS

Tributes have been paid to a 15-year-old girl who died in a kayaking accident in the Borders.

Ellice Murray, 15, was in a double kayak with her dad, Fraser, 44, when it overturned on Monday, with brother Ben, 17, nearby.

She was just out of their reach and her body was recovered later that day from the River Tweed, near Kelso.

Ellice shared kayak with her dad and loved taking part in the lockdown hobby the family took up last year.

Ellice with dad Fraser.SWNS via SWNS

Dad-of-three Fraser said: “She was literally just out of reach.

“We have got back into kayaking, last summer we got some kayaks as a lockdown hobby to do together.

“Ellice was autistic, her processing was slightly different.

“We started her with a tandem for cycling, part of her autism made her quite clumsy.

“She was on a double kayak which enabled her to take part fully.

“It could have been Ben or me.”

The family, from Kelso, said Ellice died at the happiest time in her life.

Kirstin added: “Her anxieties had come down and she was having so much fun.”

Ellice died in the River Tweed.Google Maps

Her parents described how Ellice had a unique view of life and was passionate about the environment, with an enthusiasm for planting.

She had cut her own hair and dyed it with bright colours, and was delighted not to be facing the prospect of exams.

In February 2020 she had undergone major surgery to put titanium plates in her back to help with scoliosis, and the Friday before she died had been signed off by a consultant.

Fraser said: “She was just into life, she was effervescent and sparkling.

“She worked in our shop – we told her it was her shop.

“She just wanted to serve people and answer their questions, you could see people were not entirely sure it was going OK but 99% of the time it did.

“The people in the community were incredibly gracious to her, she was such a kind wee girl.”

Kirstin added: “She had begun planning ideas for planting our garden, she was really into the environment.

“She felt like ‘we have to change the way we live so I’m going to do it now’.

“She embodied what she believed.

“I’m so sorry she’s not coming home.

“Her brother was saying she couldn’t have been more whole at this point in her life.

“She was as happy as she had ever been, which is a consolation.”

The Borders Water Rescue Team and a helicopter joined police, fire and ambulance crews at the scene of the rescue bid.

Detective inspector Alistair Sellar said: “We were called around 3.30pm on Monday, March 22 to a report of a canoeist getting into difficulty on the River Tweed, south of Rutherford, near Kelso.

“Emergency services attended and a rescue operation was launched.

“A 15-year-old girl was recovered from the water a short time later. Her family are aware.

“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident. A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

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