UPDATE: London surfer dies off Lowestoft beach

A surfer died in Lowestoft yesterday after getting into difficulties.

The air ambulance, coastguard, ambulance and police were all called to the seafront at midday to reports of a surfer in difficulties near the groynes by the Hotel Hatfield.

An East Of England Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed that the man died after being knocked unconscious and suffering a cardiac arrest.

This morning police confirmed that the man, who was in his 30s and from London, was rescued from the water and treated at the scene but was pronounced dead just before 1pm.

Yesterday afternoon local surfers said that the man had been a regular surfer to the beach.

One who didn't want to give his name said: 'It is a real tragedy. We are a close knit community of locals and surfers and people who love the sea and water. To have this happen on our backdoor is absolutely terrible.

'Everyone is in shock, it's really, really sad. It's left us all feeling empty.'

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The surfers explained that there had been around five people surfing at lunchtime, with just two between the groynes near the hotel. They said the waves were head high and that the wind was strong.

John Reynolds, of Eastwood Avenue, said: 'I have been surfing for three to four years and I struggle with it sometimes.'

He said that all of the surfers use the groynes to move into the sea before letting the rip tide take them out.

'It's just devastating,' said Mr Reynolds, 35. 'It is one of the hazards, we all know you can get hurt doing it, you just don't expect to get killed.'

The emergency services were sent out at around 11.50am.

Anastasis Kaffa, who runs Aprhodie snack bar on the seafront, explained that the air ambulance landed on the Royal Green and that the emergency services tried CPR to try to revive him for about half an hour.

The death is not being treated as suspicious so his identity will not be released until an inquest is opened.

•If you would like to pay tributes, email richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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