Heroic Welwyn Garden City kitesurfer rescues three children

Richard Newcombe kitesurfing.

Richard Newcombe kitesurfing.

Archant

A Welwyn Garden City man saved three children from drowning after they were caught out in choppy waters.

Richard Newcombe, 50, of Chambers Grove, was kitesurfing in Clacton with his friend Tom Bartlett when the incident that could have been a fatal tragedy happened.

At around 3pm on Sunday, August 21, the pair saw that the children were in kayaks and a rubber dinghy 200 metres out to sea.

They were caught by the outgoing tide and struggling. Then one of the girls fell overboard into the sea.

Richard said: “We rushed over and I grabbed her, she must have been around 12 years old and I told her to hold onto me and not to let go.

“She was in agony, her hand looked like it could have been broken from where she was hanging onto the kayak.

“The girl was in a state. She was in bits, shaking, crying and frozen.

“We comforted her for a while and her mum’s friend, who I am guessing they were with, took her away.”

Tom attended to the other two children who were still aboard and out of the water.

There are reports that a kayaker died in the same area.

Richard, a former Monk’s Walk School pupil, added: “It was a rough sea, it was choppy and dangerous. The water was going over her head. I think if she had let go of me it would have been very hard to get her back.

“If we weren’t there it would have been fatal for the children. I hate to think what could have happened.

“It is so dangerous. They are just kids in a dinghy, it could have been a tragedy.

“I like to think anyone in my position would have done the same thing but I’m happy they’re alive and safe and that they live to tell the tale.”


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