AN experienced water sportsman was involved in a drama yesterday after being blown out to sea.

Lifeboat crews and the Redcar Coastwatch watched anxiously from the shoreline as Colin Baldwin, from Boldon, South Tyneside, battled to get his kite board upright in seas, which were fairly rough with a heavy swell.

Mr Baldwin is experienced at the sport, which uses a board wind-powered by a kite instead of a sail.

However, onlookers said he appeared to be blown approximately a quarter-of-a-mile out to sea, and then seemed unable to get the board upright and working again to allow him to get back to the shore.

However, just as the lifeboat crew started up their boat to rescue Mr Baldwin - on the instructions of the coastguard - he was able to lift the kite out of the water sufficiently to catch the wind and headed for the safety of the shore