Kite surfer's dramatic sea rescue

A kite surfer is today recovering after he was dramatically rescued by lifeboat crews.

A KITE surfer who lost his rig and disappeared into the sea at Felixstowe Ferry this afternoon has been picked up by lifeboat crews after a dramatic rescue operation.

At around 12.35pm Thames Coastguard received a 999 call reporting a missing kite surfer in force four winds and choppy waters at the mouth of the River Deben.

The man, who had been out on the water with another person, had disappeared from sight after losing his rig.

Both Harwich RNLI lifeboats were scrambled to the incident, with Felixstowe Coastguard, the RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter from Wattisham Airfield and Shingle Street Coastguard were also tasked to search the Bawdsey stretch of the River Deben shoreline.

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At around 1pm one of the Harwich lifeboat crews reported a sighting of the windsurfer and managed to get him aboard.

The RAF Search and Rescue helicopter then lowered a paramedic onto the deck to check the man, who was taken ashore and needed no further medical treatment.

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Coastguard spokesman Kevin Straw said luckily the casualty had been properly equipped with the right gear.

The second kite surfer managed to get out of the water to safety.

Today's rescue comes after a similar incident involving a windsurfer in the same spot yesterday.

The 31-year-old man from Woodbridge is recovering today after he ventured out in the violent stormy weather yesterday, losing his board and instigating a dramatic rescue effort.

Thames Coastguard received a 999 call at around 2.40pm from a member of the public concerned for the safety of a windsurfer who had got into difficulty at the entrance to the River Deben near to Felixstowe Ferry.

A spokesman for the coastguard said the winds were up to storm force 10 causing very high waves of between one and one-and-a-half metres high.

He said the windsurfer was overwhelmed by the sea but because of the severe weather the inshore lifeboat could not be tasked.

Felixstowe Coastguard and both Harwich RNLI lifeboats were immediately alerted and tasked to the incident.

The windsurfer managed to scramble ashore where he was treated for the effects of exhaustion and the cold.

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