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Kitesurfer dies after being caught in squall

The rescue team at the scene Credit: RNLI

A kitesurfer has died after being caught in a squall along Hayling sea front in Hampshire. Full report from RNLI below.

An experienced kite surfer was the other side of the sand bar along Hayling sea front. As a squall came through he had to drop his 15 metre kite. This was noticed by another kitesurfer who saw that, after the squall had passed, he was having trouble. Sailing over to him he was found to be head down in the water and unconscious. With great skill the other kite surfer turned him face up and towed him and his kite towards the beach. This became more difficult so he was left on a yellow marker buoy 200 metres off the beach. One of the managers of the kite school saw this taking place and called the lifeboat station directly as she knew we would be launching a exercise. The crew were already changed, were briefed and launched within a few minutes. Due to the low tide the Atlantic 85 had to go right out to the West Pole Beacon before turning back in towards the Hayling Beach. As they arrive on scene they saw a man swimming in the water pointing to the unconscious man attached to the yellow buoy. The lifeboat went alongside the unconscious man cutting him free from his kite lines and bringing him on board. They then picked up the other man from the water, ran the Atlantic 85 up the beach, placing the casualty on the beach and commencing CPR. Our honorary paramedic arrived with a defibrillator. The Coastguard helicopter arrived and landed nearby. They brought their stretcher, took over the CPR and transferred him the helicopter. They left for Queen Alexandra hospital where he was pronounced dead. Portsmouth lifeboat arrived, untangled the kite from the buoy and retrieved his board. Once Hayling Lifeboat was relaunched these items were passed to Hayling lifeboat who handed them over to the Coastguard

– RNLI

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423 Kitesurfers break world record on Hayling Island

Parade of kitesurfers as they break the world record

Four hundred and twenty-three kitesurfers out on the water in Hampshire today have broken the world record for the Largest Parade of Kitesurfers.

They beat the previous record of 416 kitesurfers set in Cape Town, South Africa.

Today's successful record breaking attempt took place at Hayling Island, and was organised by the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada. The new title was verified by Guinness World Records.

"Huge congratulations to everyone for 3.5 hours of determined kitesurfing. With 423 kitesurfers completing the course Virgin Kitesurfing Armada you are officially amazing and are all GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ holders."

– Sophia Greenacre, Official Adjudicator from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™
Kitesurfers in action off Hayling Island

"A huge thank you to everyone who has come down and supported the festival this weekend. It's been an amazing experience. 423 kitesurfers is a fantastic total and everyone should be really proud.

We couldn't have done it without all the brilliant volunteers, industry support and the sponsors which include Virgin, WOO Sports, North Kiteboarding and Volvo Car UK. It's been an awesome weekend."

– Dan Charlish, Event Organiser

Invite for more kitesurfers to help break world record

Hayling Island will play home to the world record breaking attempt

The team behind an attempt to break the world record for the largest parade of kitesurfers over a one-mile course are appealing for more people to take part at the event on Hayling Island on Sunday 19th June. The record to beat is the South African Virgin Kitesurfing Armada, with a total of 415 kiters, which was set in Cape Town earlier this year.

Kitesurfer in action

The attempt is one of several activities taking part at the kitesurfing festival in Hampshire this weekend. The organisers are hoping to attract as many as 500 kitesurfers to the beach on Hayling Island at noon on Sunday. Here's their video invitation:

The people featuring in the video invite are Dan Charlish, Event Director, Virgin Kitesurfing Armada; Sam Light - British Champion and Triple S Champion; Steph Bridge - five-time Kite World Champion and current European Race titleholder; and Lewis Crathern - the 4 times British Champion.