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A TEENAGER who died in a kayaking accident was today described as a “fantastic character” who “died doing the thing he loved”.

Simon Fletcher was killed when his boat became trapped under rocks on the River Tay last week.

The England Under 21 international was on a kayaking expedition with a group that included his twin brother Matthew.

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Emergency services could not reach the 19-year-old at the scene in Grandtully, Perthshire, because of the fast-flowing water.

His body was recovered 28 hours later when rescuers broke up the vessel.

Both brothers, from Stockton-on-Tees, were members of the Tees Tigers club based in Cleveland.

Simon, known as Sim, was in his first year at Northumbria University in Newcastle studying mechanical engineering.

The British Canoe Union yesterday released a statement telling of a “clever lad” who would be “greatly missed”.

“If it can be any consolation, he died doing the thing he loved, with a group of people he loved, including his twin brother Matt,” it read.

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“The thing that defined Sim was his passion for canoeing. His first love had always been polo, the sport that he had excelled at, recently making it into the British reigning World Champion Under 21 team.

“He was about to compete in his first major international tournament for his country, alongside his brother, in a couple of weeks time.

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“He has also been a key player at club level, helping the Tees Tigers A-team make it through to playoffs for promotion to the top division.

“Sim was an outgoing character and despite being a recent addition to the slalom community, he was fast becoming a familiar face. He also made a massive contribution to his club, being keen to get involved with both coaching the youngsters as well as helping out at events.

“He will greatly missed by his family, his friends, his team-mates, everyone at Tees Tigers and anyone who has had the pleasure to meet him.”