Hope fades for missing canoeist

MIDDAY UPDATE: IT appears a young woman who went missing while canoeing near Khancoban yesterday afternoon fell victim to dangerous river conditions, police say.

The Box Hill woman has not been seen since her canoe capsized yesterday while paddling with her mother in an unregulated section of the Murray River - known locally as the Indi River and marked in pink on the map (click across) - at about 4.15pm.

The woman's canoe was found wedged against trees about 150 metres above the Biggara Bridge last night.

The search was called off about 8pm and resumed about 6am today.

As each minute ticks by without a sighting, it becomes less likely the 24-year-old will be found alive.

Insp. David Cottee, of Albury police, said emergency services were searching a small section of river near where the woman went missing but had been hampered by the fast-flowing and cold water. 

He wouldn’t comment on whether the woman was wearing a life jacket, but said she was a capable swimmer.

“I think from the circumstances, she became a victim of the fast-flowing water and the river conditions that existed,” Insp. Cottee said.

“We always hold some hope, which diminishes as time goes past.” 

Police divers from Melbourne are on their way to the search area and are expected to arrive this afternoon.

The woman’s family, including her mother, remain on the scene.

Dozens of paddlers will take to the region's rivers this weekend for the Upper Murray Challenge, an annual running, cycling and kyaking race.

The paddling section of the race is advertised as having "some tricky chutes, half-metre waves and turbulent eddies" along the Swampy Plains and Murray rivers.

However, it is not believed the woman capsized within the Upper Murray Challenge course.

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