8 Dec 2010

French kayakers who drowned in NZ lake named

3:15 pm on 8 December 2010

Police have named the two French kayakers who drowned in Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown on Monday.

They were 21-year-old Raphael Soubrier, a shop assistant, and Yoann Firdion, 24, a student at the New Zealand Language School at the resort town.

The men had been in New Zealand for a couple of months on one-year working holiday visas.

A commercial boat operator saw the pair on the lake on Monday morning and warned them to return to shore because of an approaching southerly front.

He gave them his cellphone number in case they got into trouble. The kayakers called him in a panic at 10pm that night.

Searchers recovered their bodies about three hours later.