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Money floods in for canoeists

Canoeists have raised thousands of pounds for the air ambulance service in memory of a friend who died in an accident.

York Canoe Club member Jason Raper and friend James Barnes wanted to raise money for the ambulance service that worked hard to save the life of their friend Kate Stainsby, 41, from Swinton, near Malton, after she capsized on the River Rawthey at Sedbergh, Cumbria, on New Year’s Day.

They completed a 155-mile charity kayak trip along the River Ure to thank the Great North Air Ambulance service for their efforts in trying to rescue Kate, who was a lecturer at York University.

The event has raised £3,350, but money is still being donated.

The pair also hoped their efforts would raise awareness of organ donation. Kate was on the organ donor register and she helped 20 people after her death.

Jason, of Scarborough, said they trained very hard for the event, adding: “Some nights motivation was difficult to find, especially when the training session consisted of seeing how much 50mm thick ice we could smash with our boat in an hour.

“We completed the River Ure from source to sea over the three days intended with an hour to spare.

“We were really unlucky with low water levels on the first day, but then had glorious sun for the rest which was good.”

The two men had to paddle up to 14 hours a day to complete their challenge. They were joined by friends along the way.

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