Success! Surfer completes world record attempt in Lowestoft to highlight dangers of beach litter

Merijn Tinga arrives in Lowestoft after kite surfing from Holland on a surfboard made of plastic bot

Merijn Tinga arrives in Lowestoft after kite surfing from Holland on a surfboard made of plastic bottles to highlight the dangers of beach litter. Picture MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

This was the moment Merijn Tinga arrived in Lowestoft having succeeded in his daring world record attempt to be the first person to kite-surf across the North Sea on a hydrofoil surfboard.

Merijn Tinga arrives in Lowestoft after kite surfing from Holland on a surfboard made of plastic bot

Merijn Tinga arrives in Lowestoft after kite surfing from Holland on a surfboard made of plastic bottles to highlight the dangers of beach litter. Picture MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

The Dutchman set off from the beach in Scheveningen, Holland, at around 11am yesterday (Friday, September 2) on a board made from recycled single-use plastic bottles in a bid to highlight the dangers of marine litter.

Mr Tinga's main goal was to highlight a change of the law in his native country taking away a deposit system for drinks bottles, where people paid a small deposit with a bottle of drink and got their money back once they had properly disposed of their litter.

But the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) also supported his bid in an attempt to highlight the dangers of ocean plastic along the Norfolk and Suffolk coast,

Senior pollution officer Dr Sue Kinsey was one of those who waited for hours at Pakefield beach, by the Cefas laboratory, for his arrival along with HM Coastguard officers and supportive residents.

There was a nervous wait as Mr Tinga - also known as the 'Plastic Soup Surfer' for his record attempt on a surfboard made in the shape of a bottle - was seemingly delayed, as he had been expected to arrive between 3pm and 5pm.

But he eventually arrived shortly after 6.30pm, with those gathered clapping as he arrived.

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'We thought he was going to get there much earlier so we were slightly starting to worry that something had gone wrong,' Dr Kinsey said.

'However we saw a kite-surf on the horizon and within half an hour, he had arrived.

'There were quite a lot of people gathered and gave him a clap when he came. He looked surprisingly cool and collected but he was really excited to see everyone and everyone was really pleased to see him. They were also quite interested to see the board - it was quite amazing to have a look at it.

'Litter is pretty much a problem all the way around the UK coast.

'From our side we want to see a deposit system here in the UK - we find so much litter when we do our big beach clean. We know that kind of litter is about 10 per cent of the litter we find.

'I think for those on the beach, they were certainly more aware of why he did it. It's a good message.'

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