Fundraiser set up to thank emergency services following search for missing windsurfer

Chris Bamfield, 65, was last seen at Hunstanton beach on Saturday, November 14. Picture: Norfolk Co

Chris Bamfield, 65, was last seen at Hunstanton beach on Saturday, November 14. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A fundraiser has been set up to thank the emergency services for their role in the search of a missing windsurfer, who was last seen on Saturday.

Lorraine Gore, chief executive of West Norfolk council. Photo: West Norfolk council

Lorraine Gore, chief executive of West Norfolk council. Photo: West Norfolk council - Credit: West Norfolk council

Chris Bamfield, 65, from Middleton in King’s Lynn, went missing off the coast of Hunstanton on Saturday, November 14, prompting multi-agency searches involving the HM coastguard, police and RNLI crews from Hunstanton, Wells and Cromer.

But the search was called off for the recently-retired West Norfolk council executive director on Monday and police said it was most likely that Mr Bamfield at “some point got into difficulty in the water,” after he went in and failed to return home from a windsurfing trip on Saturday afternoon.

West Norfolk Council, with the agreement of the Bamfield family, has since set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money for the RNLI as a “heartfelt thank you” for their efforts in the search.

Mr Bamfield’s family said: “Chris lived life to the max. He was always fanatical about everything he did, and windsurfing was at the top of that list.

Volunteers joined the search for a missing surfer at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop

Volunteers joined the search for a missing surfer at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

“The effort and dedication shown by the emergency services in their effort to bring him home have left us all truly humbled.


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“To show our appreciation as a family, we would like to contribute to the RNLI in his name, and we know he would appreciate anyone else, able and willing to do so, to do the same.”

Lorraine Gore, the authority’s chief executive, said: “We are all still reeling from the shock of the weekend’s events. The family that is the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk has taken this hard.

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“We, along with Chris’s wife Vanessa and children Ashton and Jamie, want to show our gratitude to the emergency services involved in the search for Chris, and we felt that this would be an appropriate way to show our support and encourage anyone else who felt they wanted to, to do likewise.”

The RNLI is a registered charity that saves lives at sea and continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies for its income.

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/chris-bamfield-a-thank-you-to-the-rnli

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