AN inquest into the death of an experienced kayaker who died while competing in a distance race off the Purbeck coast has been opened and adjourned.

Dorset Coroner's Court heard that Alistair William Collier, aged 60, from Great Meadow in Worcester, had been competing in the race on October 6 this year.

Ken McEwan, coroner's officer for Dorset, told the short hearing - which was held in Bournemouth on Wednesday - that Mr Collier was an experienced kayaker and had been competing in a national championship.

Mr McEwan added: "The race had begun at 10.30am on October 6, this year, at Knoll Beach, Studland, with a route to Swanage Pier via Old Harry Rocks

"When Mr Collier failed to finish the race a major multi-agency search operation began.

"He was located on October 7 by a Royal Navy vessel who informed the coastguard. The body was brought ashore but sadly declared deceased."

Following a port mortem examination, the cause of death was listed as drowning.

The inquest, held by Assistant Dorset Coroner Brendan Allen, was adjourned until July 19, next year.

Mr Collier's body was recovered 22 nautical miles south of Tyneham the day after the search operation was launched.

He was recovered by HMS Tyne and transferred to Poole Hospital.

The kayaker was declared deceased at Poole's Whitecliff Park.

RNLI lifeboats from Swanage, Poole, Yarmouth, Mudeford, Bembridge and Weymouth, along with the coastguard took part of the extensive search operation, which started the after Mr Collier failed to finish the race and continued throughout the night into the following day.

Coastguard helicopters from Lee-on-Solent, St Athan and Newquay searched overnight and the coastguard fixed wing aircraft was brought in on the Sunday morning as the search area widened.