Kitesurfer vows to return to water after nearly DROWNING and spending six days in coma


Lewis Crathern, 30, fell 20 metres backwards into the water in the semi-finals of the Red Bull King of the Air competition in South Africa.

He is now recovering from the crash and has pledged to return to the sport he loves.

Mr Crathern, from Worthing, West Sussex, was dragged to shore by fellow kiteboarders Andries Fourie and Reno Romeu and was initially left in a six-day coma.

After being discharged two weeks later, he said: “Kitesurfing is a safe sport and I like to stress this. In this case, I feel very unlucky to have taken an unfortunate landing.

“Remember, we are trying to push the boundaries of the sport at an event like this.”

Mr Crathern is well-known for his dangerous surfing tricks in England, including jumping over the Brighton Pier.

In the build-up to the event, he advanced into the top three in the world.

Speaking of the accident, Mr Crathern said: “What I remember of the crash is it all felt fine but I came in backwards, which led to a hard hit to my head.”

He is grateful for the huge amount of support he received and praised his parents, who have been by his side since the accident and were there when he woke from the coma.

His mother Sandra said: “I truly believe Lewis will be a true inspiration for others in the future, we are very proud of who he is and how much he has touched peoples’ hearts.”

Mr Crathern is now recovering in with his South African girlfriend Courtney, who plans to move back to Worthing with him.