Hunstanton: a popular kiteboarding spot in Norfolk | Photo: Martin Pettitt/Creative Commons

Sean Sands, member of the Hunstanton Sailing Club, has lost his life in a kiteboarding accident off Hunstanton, in Norfolk, United Kingdom.

Reports say the kitesurfer was unable to trigger his emergency safety mechanism while riding in the North Sea, at 3:30pm. Sands was pulled unconscious from the water and airlifted to hospital in King's Lynn.

"Sean lost control of his kite and for reasons not known to us yet, was unable to trigger his emergency quick release. Hunstanton Sailing Club have lost a true brother, a friend to so many and one of life's genuinely effervescent characters," wrote the organization.

"Sean was a hugely popular character and someone who made everyone feel like they were a close friend. Our thoughts and condolences are with Sean's family at this terrible time."

Sands, an experienced 49-year-old kiteboarder, was dragged through the water and apparently couldn't pull the quick release system. An equipment failure is a possibility that will have to be determined by an inquest.

Never go riding by yourself. Test your gear, and make sure your quick release system is always working. Take a look at the kiteboarding rules and safety sailing procedures, and learn how to use the Wind Window.

Frances Osorio Rivera is just another kiteboarder. The only noticeable difference is that she rides the winds of her favorite spots with one only one leg.

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