An investigation into the death of a canoeist who died on Lough Gill in Co Sligo last year has found that he may have become separated from his boat in bad weather.

A Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report has found that Wellington boots worn by the kayaker would have weighed him down when he went into the water in January 2019. 

The man set out from a pier in Trawane Bay opposite Inishfree on the southwestern corner of Lough Gill to camp overnight near Slish Wood.

His body was found in the water about 0.75km from his campsite by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter on the morning of 29 January after the alarm was raised by his partner.

His canoe was found in a different location with no grab lines attached to assist recovery.

The MCIB investigation found that the Personal Flotation Device he was wearing would not have kept him afloat as an inflatable life jacket would have done. 

It also found that Wellington boots "would have filled with water when he left the canoe and would also be held tight on the leg as the water pressure acted on the boots". 

It continued: "This could act as a weight pulling the person downwards in the water and acting against the inherent flotation characteristics of the 50N PFD."

In its safety recommendations the MCIB said canoeists/kayakers should ensure that they wear clothing and footwear that will not affect their chance of survival in the water.