Missing Shetland Kayaker

The other missing kayaker who has still not been found is Kester Wigram who paddles with the Shetland club.  He went missing last thursday and we heard just as we arrived home from Norway.  He had finished his job in Stavanger and was about to head to NZ to visit his parents.  He must have returned home to Shetland to visit his partner Laurna and son Elden. He went for a solo paddle as he often does.  His family in NZ have held a memorial for him so they are expecting the worst.  He is a very experienced technical paddler who enjoys extreme rock and cave play and often paddles alone as very few folk can keep up with him or are willing to go into the places he goes.  He has had a few near misses over the years mostly on the sea and occasionally on grd 4\5 rivers with me. He once complained to me and Knoydart that Feathercraft kayaks are not very strong, as he had bent his Kats.  He went on to describe the rocks and tide race that nearly folded his Folder and I was amazed that he was not wrapped up in his Katsalano forever. He used to appear at Lisa's from time to time and try to drag me out to do dangerous things usually at both our limits of "rescueabilty". A few years ago he begged to be allowed on an SCA trip round Mull as the organiser did not know him.  After the first day or so he got fed up with the pace after a brief goodbye he left the group and headed to Coll.  So he was very used to paddling very long distances alone and had paddled to Fair Isle from Shetland and out to Foula.

  For many of us, Laurna and Kester's were the first stop when arriving in Shetland. They lived just on the hill above the ferry terminal in Lerwick.  We had many a good feed and slide show there with our Norwegian paddling pals. Our hearts go out to Laurna and Elden and all his pals in the Shetland Club.  People who knew him would describe him as a real "individual" and being Kester he is still likely to turn up in the Faroes and wonder what all the fuss was about.

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    Stefan Janik

    A memorial service was held today in Shetland for Kester and there is still no sign of him or the kayak.