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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Kite surfer airlifted to hospital
Kite surfer (generic)
Aberavon Beach is popular with kite surfers
A kite surfer is recovering in hospital after crashing on a south Wales beach popular with enthusiasts of the sport.

The man, 35, from the Bristol area, was airlifted to hospital in Swansea after the accident at Aberavon on Sunday.

At the same spot last year a teenager sustained critical injuries in a kite surfing accident.

Coastguards, who helped with Sunday's rescue, said the man was about 20ft in the air when a loss of wind in his sail caused him to fall badly.

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

An air ambulance was scrambled around 15.40BST on Sunday and flew the casualty to Morriston Hospital in Swansea. He had a broken arm and there was concern he had back injuries.

A spokesman for the coastguard said prevailing winds made Aberavon popular with kite surfers and there were a large number present on Sunday afternoon.

They all co-operated quickly and grounded their crafts to allow the air-ambulance to land on the beach.

The Coastguard said kite-surfing was an 'extreme sport' and urged those taking part to ensure they had the experience to cope with changing weather conditions.

A spokesman for Morriston Hospital said the injured man was likely to be released from hospital later on Monday.

In April 2004 a 17-year-old kite-surfer from Manchester suffered severe head injuries when he was blown into a wall close to the seafront.

Following that incident Neath Port Talbot Council said it had made efforts to improve safety at the beach.

Russell Ward, head of leisure, said: "Since the unfortunate incident last year, the authority has reviewed the way it develops the seafront.

"A beach user forum has been set up whereby all the different users of the seafront meet and are encouraged to work together to provide a safe yet enjoyable amenity."


SEE ALSO:
Surfer hurt in freak kite crash
20 Apr 04 |  Manchester


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