Kite man insists he is fine

A KITE surfer rescued after getting into difficulty in the treacherous waters at the mouth of the Deben today thanked emergency services who came to his aid.

A KITE surfer rescued after getting into difficulty in the treacherous waters at the mouth of the Deben today thanked emergency services who came to his aid.

But David James insisted he had had not been in trouble - and his only problem was being stranded the wrong side of the river.

The Harwich RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched to rescue Mr James, 40, of School Road, Waldringfield, after beach walkers alerted the Coastguard after being worried at the sight of his kite going down and seeing him apparently struggling in the water.

He had just managed to scramble to the shore on the Bawdsey side when the lifeboat crew, reached him.


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They got him on board and brought him back to shore Felixstowe Ferry, where he was met by a Coastguard team.

Mr James, an Australian on a six-month working holiday in the UK, said he had been surfing against the tide on Monday to get more lift when the wind dropped and he could not get the 16-metre kite to relaunch.

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“It dropped out of the sky and I just could not get it launched - it is an older kite and a little heavier than the newer ones, which also have a fifth line retrieval system are easier to get back up,” he said.

“I retrieved the kite and rolled it up and paddled on the board across to Bawdsey and was just getting to the beach when I heard a radio behind me and there was the lifeboat crew.

“They asked if I was all right and I said yes, but I could do with a lift back to Felixstowe.

“They were fantastic and they got to me so quick when people saw my kite had gone down. I cannot thank them enough.

“They said they had rescued two kite surfers recently who would have been swept away if the tide was stronger.”

He had surfed several times at Felixstowe and Shingle Street, and Hunstanton during his stay and was looking forward to getting back to west Australia for the summer down under and surfing daily.

“Felixstowe is a great place for kite-surfing with some great wind and waves. Sometimes I use the kite to get moving across the waves and then drop it a little and surf through the waves like back home,” he added.

Coastguards have warned kite surfers to keep a close eye on weather conditions always go in groups of three or more - and always to leave one member on shore to keep watch in case of problems and summon the alarm if needed.

What do you think of kite-surfing on the sea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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