Vale Adrian Kiernan

The Australian paddling community is deeply saddened by the passing of whitewater paddler Adrian Kiernan. The Tasmanian died on Thursday last week (15 November) on a river in Nepal.

“We are very sad to hear about the passing of Adrian and our thoughts are with his friends and family,” Andrea McQuitty, Paddle Australia President, expressed her condolences.

“Adrian was a legend in the sport and a highly respected member of the worldwide paddling community. He was a passionate paddler, who crammed many incredible adventures into his too short life and who inspired others to explore the world through paddling.”

A professional extreme paddler, experienced raft guide, coach and competitive kayaker, Kiernan was an Australian freestyle champion, a member of the Australian Freestyle Team and had kayaked in a number of countries, including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and New Zealand.

He travelled the world making films of his adventures and had his bases both in Australia and Canada, when he wasn’t leading an expedition somewhere in the world.

The 31-year-old was kayaking on the Humla Karnali — a 240-kilometre-long river in the Himalayan region of Nepal with stretches of white water renowned for its difficulty — when he got into trouble, according to friend and kayak partner Louis Bissonnette.

“As a lot of you heard by now, Adrian has passed on Thursday, November 15, 2018 around noon on the Humla Karnali,” Mr Bissonnette wrote on Facebook.

“We were all having the time of our life until the river drastically decided to put an end to it. Adrian, brother, we will all miss you so much, but we shall stay strong as we know you would. Rest in peace you legend. Much love to all affected by this terrible event.”

“We will remember you as a humble and dedicated human being. A man who lived life to the fullest, through his love for travelling and discovering new places, sparked at a young age by his loving family, further pursued with his wonderful girlfriend, his kayak, and all the people he met and loved along the way.”

The exact circumstances of Kiernan’s death are not known at this stage.

Adrian’s family have shared the tributes to him from friends across social media.

More about Adrian Kiernan and his adventures here