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Missing windsurfer search called off after sail and board found

The search for a missing windsurfer has been called off after a sail and board were found.

Chris Bamfield, from Middleton, near King’s Lynn, was last seen at Hunstanton beach, in Norfolk, at 2pm on Saturday.

Inquiries suggest he got into difficulties while windsurfing in the sea and Norfolk Police revealed his windsurfing sail and board had been found.

Officers were notified of the 65-year-old’s disappearance on Saturday evening after he failed to return home.

He is believed to have parked his car in the Hunstanton area, where he prepared to enter the sea in a black wetsuit while carrying windsurfing equipment, including his red and white sail.

A member of the public has told police that they saw someone matching Mr Bamfield’s description in the sea on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency services worked with HM Coastguard to conduct extensive land, sea and air searches to find him over the weekend.

But temporary Superintendent for King’s Lynn and Breckland, Lou Provart, said: “Unfortunately, despite extensive local searches, Mr Bamfield hasn’t been located.

“We are all aware of the unpredictable nature of the sea, and it’s likely that Mr Bamfield would have been exposed to the poor weather on Saturday while windsurfing.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved in the search to find him, it is tragically most likely that Mr Bamfield has at some point got into difficulty in the water.

“This is obviously a very distressing time for Chris’s family, who we have been in regular contact with throughout the investigation, and we thank them for their co-operation and patience during the investigations of the emergency and search and rescue services.”

Mr Bamfield’s family released a statement in which they thanked everyone involved in the search for their “herculean effort”.

The family said: “He has been windsurfing for 40 years, having recently reignited his passion and being welcomed back by the local community, and we all know how much he loves the sport.

“Chris is a fighter and even at the age of 65, he’s stronger than most of us. Because of that, we ask you all to remain vigilant.

“He is always the personification of positivity, and we know that at times like these he would want us all to echo the words of one of his favourite bands. Keep the faith – Bon Jovi.”

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