Strong winds catapult kitesurfer into sand dunes

A kitesurfer was taken to hospital after being blown into sand dunes at Northam Burrows. Picture for

A kitesurfer was taken to hospital after being blown into sand dunes at Northam Burrows. Picture for illustrative purposes only. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Man taken to hospital with neck injuries after freak gust at Northam Burrows.

A KITESURFER was taken to hospital with neck injuries after being launched out of the water and into sand dunes by strong winds.

The man was understood to be surfing off Saunton before being swept across Bideford Bar towards Northam Burrows at around 4.30pm.

A Sea King Search and Rescue helicopter was called due to concerns about the extent of the man’s injuries but was later stood down.

The man was put on a spinal board and taken to North Devon District Hospital by land ambulance.


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The incident was one of several dealt with by Coastguard and RNLI rescue teams as autumnal weather arrived with a clout this week.

At Porlock, two kayakers were rescued after becoming being trapped against a headland.

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The Minehead Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI lifeboat found the kayakers on the beach, exhausted by the conditions but otherwise unharmed.

An hour later Lynmouth Coastguard Rescue Team helped nine people stranded on the coastal path due to the severe wind.

The party was escorted off the coastal path and to safety.

Swansea Coastguard is urging members of the public to check weather and sea conditions and to heed safety warnings.

Steve Matthews, Swansea Coastguard watch manager, said: “The autumn weather seems to have hit us early this year and with winds gusting up to severe gale force nine in our area today.

“We would like to urge members of the public to check conditions before they set out and not to take risks.”

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