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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Safety rethink after kite surf crash
Kite surfer

New rules are to be drawn up for a south Wales beach after a teenager was critically injured in a kite surfing accident.

Ross Milton, 17, from Diggle, Greater Manchester was caught by a freak gust of wind, blown out of the water and into a wall at Aberavon beach.

Neath Port Talbot Council is planning to liaise with the British Kite Surfing Association in the hope of keeping everyone using the beach safe.

The teenager is critical but stable condition at Morriston Hospital.

Ross was carried 80ft into the air over a chip shop on the sea front and hit two walls after a freak wind caught his kite on Saturday.

The council's leisure service co-ordinator, Andrew Thomas, said: "We are going to work with the national governing body for kite surfing to put together a scheme which protects all the different users of the beach in terms of safety and enjoyment.

"We will be learning lessons from this accident and we will come up with a scheme to accommodate all the different users of the beach."

Map showing Aberavon, south Wales
Jeremy Waitt, head of training at the British Kite Surfing Association, said: "The BKSA continues to do its best to help councils keep people safe on beaches.

"Any advice or system to reduce risk to all beach users is of great benefit."

Kite surfing is similar to windsurfing but uses kites instead of sails. Its official UK website declares it as "the most extreme of water sports".

Ross had spent the day taking part in the British Kite Surfing Championships at Porthcawl in south Wales.

His family were watching him practise on Aberavon beach when the incident happened.

His safety helmet is believed to have come off when the gust lifted him into the air, and he suffered head injuries.

His father Matthew, a GP, and his mother Anne have been at his bedside since the accident.

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