COUNTY NEWS: Sussex kitesurfing champion seriously injured
A BRITISH kitesurfing champion from Worthing is in a medically-induced coma after a serious accident in South Africa.
Lewis Crathern, who was the freestyle British champion from 2005 to 2008, was hurt while competing in the semi-finals of the Red Bull King of the Air competition at Big Bay in Blouberg, South Africa, on Sunday.
According to news reports from the country, the 31-year-old attempted a massive kite loop at the start of the second semi-final, but his kite stalled and he slammed into the surf on his back after freefalling 15 to 20 metres.
His mum, Sandra, posted a message on her Facebook page asking for people’s prayers and support.
In a message posted yesterday morning, she said: “PLEASE PRAY........
“For Lewis Crathern Kitesurfer, he was in a serious accident in the semi finals of the world championship kiting in South Africa yesterday and is in an induced coma.
“He has no internal injuries, brain damage or broken bones as far as they can see but having problems breathing due to the water inhalation.
“Bless my boy xx.”
As well as competing in kitesurfing competitions around the world, Lewis is also known for jumping over Worthing and Brighton piers.
The eventual winner of the Red Bull King of the Air competition Aaron Hadlow posted a message of support for Lewis on his Facebook page.
He said: “Wow what an incredible day of emotion yesterday.
“From the lowest low to the highest high, although I couldn’t help but think of one of my best mates missing out on the final and ending up in hospital.
“At one point I was ready to walk away from my heat but knowing Lew would be happy to see me on top when he comes around I managed to come out the blocks flying in the final, bringing his style and energy he had throughout the day with me.
“This must have been the best heat opening I have ever done. I clocked my biggest jump on the buzzer on the way out, turned in and landed my biggest Megaloop KGB of the day infront of the crowds before finding a perfect kicker to launch a Front Roll Megaloop.
“What a feeling! The adrenaline and energy I felt was incredible and stayed with me for the rest of the heat.
“Thank you to all that chose to support me and a special thanks to my close friends and family that got me through the day. It was so great to see Lasse ok this morning and I’m feeling positive that Lewis will be back to himself in the coming days.”
Leave your messages of support for Lewis by commenting below.
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