Tyne & Wear

Windsurfer dies in sea off Blyth coast

RAF winchman being lowered into sea
Image caption An RAF winchman was lowered from the helicopter

A windsurfer has died after getting into difficulties in the sea off the coast of Northumberland.

Lifeboats and the coastguard rescue team were called after people walking their dogs on the beach at Blyth raised the alarm.

It is believed the casualty was in the water for about 25 minutes before being spotted by the RAF Boulmer crew.

He was winched aboard and taken to Wansbeck Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it was alerted to an incident at 12.20 GMT by a 999 call from a member of the public who spotted a body in the water.

She described sea conditions as moderate with south westerly winds, and "typical of weather favoured by windsurfers".

Northumbria Police said inquiries were ongoing and a report would be prepared for the coroner.

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