An Irishman has died and a second is missing following a kayaking accident in Ecuador.

The dead man has been named as 19-year-old Alex McGourty from Sligo.

A search is ongoing for David Higgins, who lived in Galway but is originally from Kerry, and two other men.

It is understood the pair had been travelling with a group of kayakers when they got into difficulty following a flash flood in the Abanico river in the southeast of the country.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of both cases and consular assistance was being provided.

Local media has reported that one of the three missing men - white water guide Joaquin Meneses - was later found alive.

Sligo Kayak Club has expressed profound sadness at Mr McGourty's death.

The club has said that he was a trainee instructor who died while fulfilling his dreams, kayaking in Ecuador.

Eddie Loftus from the kayak club said that Mr McGourty was one of the finest young men the club had the honour of knowing and paddling with.

Mr McGourty had completed a year at the World Class Kayak Academy in Washington, a "travelling high school for students that want to earn their education while exploring unique rivers and cultures around the world".

Mr Loftus said Mr McGourty was the only Irish person to ever secure a place at the academy and his dream was to become an international kayaking tour guide.