Founder of The North Face dies following kayaking accident

US billionaire Douglas Tompkins founded the company in 1966

The North Face, clothing, Douglas Tompkins, kayaking accident

Douglas Tompkins | Image: Facebook/The North Face

The co-founder of outdoor label 'The North Face' has died after a kayaking accident in the Patagonia region of Chile.

US billionaire Douglas Tompkins was 72.

He capsized with a group of friends on Lake Carrera, after strong winds created unexpected waves.

He died of severe hypothermia after falling into the near-freezing waters.

In a statement, the company says: "We are all deeply saddened by the news of Doug Tompkins' passing".

"Doug was special to many of us".

"He was a passionate advocate for the environment, and his legacy of conservation is one that we hope to help continue in the work we do every day", it adds.

He founded The North Face in 1966 as a small ski and backpacking retail and mail order operation in San Francisco.

He most recently visited the company's headquarters in 2013.

The firm has two stores in Dublin, as well as outlets and authorised dealers around the country.