Doug Tompkins Doug Tompkins

The founder of outdoor clothing retailer The North Face, Douglas Tompkins, has died at the age of 72 in a kayaking accident in Chile.

Mr Tompkins' died of hypothermia after his kayak, and those of five others, capsized in strong waves. He had bought a large amount of land in Chile and Argentine Patagonia to maintain their natural beauty.

The American billionaire was taken to hospital, but had stopped breathing before arrival. A military patrol boat rescued three members of the group, while the other three were lifted free by helicopter.

In a statement, The North Face said: Doug was a passionate advocate for the environment.

"His legacy of conservation will help ensure that there are outdoor spaces to be explored for generations to come."

Mr Tompkins launched The North Face in 1968 following a hiking trip on the Eagle Mountain in Minnesota.