Osea Island

A 72-year-old windsurfer has been rescued near the Osea Island, in the Blackwater Estuary, Essex, UK.

The man was reported missing by staff at the Marconi Sailing Club, Stansgate, at 10.20am on Saturday.

The winds were gusting to around 40 knots and the conditions were quite extreme.

A rescue helicopter was put on standby and the lifeboat crews from West Mersea were called.

Minutes after, a yacht from Blackwater Sailing Club spotted the man just south of Osea Island.

The crew members managed to get the windsurfer out of the water. He was cold, but ok.

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Newman Darby

The roots of windsurfing started 60 years ago in Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1948, Newman Darby, 20, built the first small catamaran with a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint. Despite he did not patented his invention, Darby is commonly seen as the father of sailboarding/windsurfing.

Later in 1970, North Americans Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer got a patent for their "Windsurfer" design, based on the Newman Darby's techniques. They credited him for their version of the sailboard.

Nevertheless, the two friends were working on the Darby's ideas since the mid-60's. Hoyle Schweitzer began the commercial production of polyethylene sailboards - the "Windsurfer" design - in the early 1970s.

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Kim Lythgoe

Kim Lythgoe has drowned in a tragic accident whilst taking a well earned holiday in the Maldives.

Kim jumped into the water from a chartered yacht. Something that he must have done many many times before. He surfaced normally and then must have suffered a hydrocution.

On board were a number of friends one of whom is a doctor and expert diver. When they noticed after some minutes that Kim was no where to be seen, the doctor put on his equipment and submerged into 30 metre deep water to try and rescue Kim. The visibility was not good. There was nothing that he could do.

Kim's body was later recovered and is now on its way to Spain via France. He will arrive in Santander on Wednesday and be taken to a mortuary by the RFEV. On Thursday his body will be cremated. His ashes will be sprinkled on the sea.

Many friends will be there.

For Kim's familly, for all his friends, for Marina, for Blanca, for the Spanish Windsurfing Dream Team, for Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, for the world of windsurfing, for the world in general a bright and constant light has been snuffed out in a tragic diving accident in the Maldives.

Sadly this is not the first time that the world of windsurfing has had one of its loved ones snatched away in a drowning accident and it will probably not be the last.

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