A KITESURFER has died after getting into difficulties in the water off Hayling Island.
Rescue crews said another kitesurfer had tried to rescue the man, local to the area, before calling for help at 10.38am.
He was airlifted to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham but was pronounced dead on arrival.
A spokesman at Hayling RNLI said: 'The experienced kitesurfer had been using a bigger kite than normal and had been hit by one of the squalls.
'Another kitesurfer saw him de-power the kite but the next time he saw the casualty he was in the water and not climbing back onto his board, so he went over to see if he could help and found the casualty face down in the water.
'He managed to turn the casualty over and then with considerable skill towed him and the kite towards the shore.
'He realised however that he was not going to make it and so let the casualty drift onto a yellow marker buoy and he set off for the shore to raise help.
'At this point the Hayling Lifeboat arrived and at first thought the assisting kitesurfer was the one in trouble but he pointed to the casualty held by the yellow buoy.
'The lifeboat crew took the casualty on board and cut away the rigging and kite and immediately started CPR.
'The helm headed for the shore and decided that although the tide was low and the lifeboat would not normally beach, in this crisis situation he needed to get the casualty ashore.
'The crew used oxygen and continued CPR and the search and rescue helicopter was paged.
'It arrived very quickly and the helicopter paramedics took over the casualty who was transferred to a stretcher and airlifted to QA hospital. Sadly he was pronounced dead on arrival.'
Portsmouth RNLI Lifeboat crew assisted with the transfer of the casualty.
The UK Coastguard duty controller said: 'At 10.38am we were alerted to the fact that a kitesurfer was in difficulties along Hayling seafront.
'We had Hayling lifeboat, Hayling coastal rescue team and also coastguard helicopter, along with South Central Ambulance Service.
'The casualty was brought to the shore by a second kitesurfer who had witnessed the individual in difficulties in the water.
'He was recovered by (the helicopter), extracted from the beach to Queen Alexandra Hospital.'