A major search has been launched for a missing kayaker.

Alistair Collier, aged 60, was taking part in a race off Studland on Saturday.

He was last seen at midday near Swanage Pier at the beginning of the race.

All other participants returned at the end of the race except Alistair.

HM Coastguard has been searching the area. However, so far he has not been located.

Alistair is white, five feet two inches tall and of medium build. He has brown eyes, black greying hair and a goatee and speaks with a norther accent. He was wearing a red life jacket.

He was in a white canoe with stabiliser and a blue stripe on top. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Chief Inspector Heather Dixey, of Dorset Police, said: “The search for Alistair is continuing, but unfortunately we have not been able to find him.

“We are urging anyone who has seen a man matching Alistair’s description or his kayak since this afternoon to contact us.”

Around 15 kayakers had been taking part in the event.

A call was made to HM Coastguard about 1.45pm reporting him as missing. A spokesperson said he was seen around half way through the race and the alarm was raised when the organisers realised he had not finished.

Two RNLI lifeboats from Swanage and two from Poole are currently searching the area along with Swanage and St Albans Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent. Dorset Police officers are also involved in the search.

Bournemouth Echo:

Poole Lifeboats, Swanage lifeboats , Yarmouth lifeboat and helicopters from Fishguard and Lee-on-Solent have been involved with an extensive major air and sea search for a missing Kayaker.

A spokesperson for Poole Lifeboats said the conditions off Studland Bay were quite rough with north easterly winds gusting 5 to 6.

"The D Class from Poole has returned to station at 7pm, it had saturated the area from Studland and Old Harry with crew put ashore searching the caves and areas under and around Old Harry Rocks, as night fell and the worsening conditions, the D Class was stood down.

"Poole’s Atlantic is still out in Poole Bay working alongside Swanage, continuing the search."

Duty controller Duncan Ley from HM Coastguard said: "There is an extensive search of the area being carried out between the start of the race at Knoll Beach and Swanage pier.

"The weather conditions aren’t good – the sea is quite rough and we are concerned for this kayaker’s safety."

The search is ongoing.