Tributes to girl, 15, who died after kayak overturned

Tributes to girl, 15, who died after double kayak she was paddling with her father, 44, overturned on river in Scotland

  • Ellice Murray, 15, had been in a double kayak when it overturned on Monday
  • Her body was recovered later that day from the River Tweed, Scottish Borders
  • Her family has since said that the teenager died at the happiest time in her life

The family of a 15-year-old girl who died in a kayaking tragedy said she was the happiest she had ever been at the time she died.

Ellice Murray, 15, had been in a double kayak with her father, Fraser, 44, when it overturned on Monday, with brother Ben, 17, nearby.

Tragically she was just out of their reach and her body was recovered later that day from the River Tweed, near Kelso, Scottish Borders.

Ellice Murray, 15, had been in a double kayak with her father, Fraser, 44, (pictured together) when it overturned on Monday 

Ellice shared kayak with her father as her autism ‘made her clumsy’ but she loved taking part in the lockdown hobby that the family had taken up last year.

She was due to enrol on a horticulture course after being ‘flexischooled’ for years by her mother, Kirstin, 45, and also worked in her parents’ plastic-free shop and cafe.

Father-of-three Fraser said: ‘She was literally just out of reach.

‘We have got back into kayaking, last summer we got some kayaks as a lockdown hobby to do together.


Ellice shared kayak with her father as her autism ‘made her clumsy’ but she loved taking part in the lockdown hobby that the family had taken up last year

‘Ellice was autistic, her processing was slightly different. We started her with a tandem for cycling, part of her autism made her quite clumsy.

‘She was on a double kayak which enabled her to take part fully. It could have been Ben or me.’

Her family, from Kelso, Scottish Borders, said Ellice died at the happiest time in her life.

Kirstin added: ‘Her anxieties had come down and she was having so much fun.’

Her parents described how Ellice had a unique view of life and was passionate about the environment – with a particular enthusiasm for planting. 

Her parents described how Ellice (pictured together) had a unique view of life and was passionate about the environment – with a particular enthusiasm for planting

Her family, from Kelso, Scottish Borders, said Ellice (pictured) had died at the happiest time in her life

She had cut her own hair, dyed it with bright colours and was delighted not to be facing the prospect of exams.

In February 2020, she had undergone major surgery to put titanium plates in her back to help with scoliosis and the Friday before she died had been signed off by a consultant.

Fraser said: ‘She was just into life, she was effervescent and sparkling. She worked in our shop – we told her it was her shop.

‘She just wanted to serve people and answer their questions, you could see people were not entirely sure it was going OK but 99 per cent of the time it did. 

In February 2020, Ellice had undergone major surgery to put titanium plates in her back to help with scoliosis and the Friday before she died had been signed off by a consultant

Ellice was due to enrol on a horticulture course after being ‘flexischooled’ for years by her mother, Kirstin, 45, (pictured together) and also worked in her parents’ plastic-free shop and cafe

‘The people in the community were incredibly gracious to her, she was such a kind wee girl.’

Kirstin added: ‘She had begun planning ideas for planting our garden, she was really into the environment.

‘She felt like “we have to change the way we live so I’m going to do it now”.

‘She embodied what she believed. I’m so sorry she’s not coming home.

‘Her brother was saying she couldn’t have been more whole at this point in her life.

‘She was as happy as she had ever been, which is a consolation.’

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