Kayak holiday ends in fatal drowning February 11th, 2020 2003-02-24T11:45:05+13:00 A 27-year old English kayaker drowned on the Waikaia river, Southland on Saturday. After rescue attempts failed, his companions hiked out through dense bush to raise the alarm. The kayaker’s body was recovered by searchers on Sunday afternoon. Update 26 February: Police named James Robert Lowe Acton as the English kayaker who drowned. He was a captain in the British Army. The two men kayaking with him were Tony Roberts, of Guildford in Surrey, and George Fell, of Baildon, West Yorkshire.