A KITE surfer who saved a man from drowning in freezing water has said he would never think twice about helping someone in trouble.

Sam Caslin was enjoying the wind on the River Blackwater when he saw David Murrell, who had fallen overboard from his boat, about half a mile off West Mersea.

Mr Murrell, who was not wearing a life jacket, desperately tried to tread the choppy water in temperatures of 3°C before Mr Caslin made his way to pull him from the water.

"I would do it for anyone,” said Mr Caslin, 29, who is from Mersea and now lives in Chelmsford.

“If you see someone in the water, you’ve got to go and help, it’s just what you do.”

Mr Caslin, who has been kite surfing for six years, initially thought Mr Murrell, an engineer from Mersea, was a buoy when he saw him from about 50m away.

The estate agent, who was wearing a 5mm thick winter wet suit, was surprised to find Mr Murrell was wearing shorts and a polo shirt.

“The man was pretty cold. I was in the type of thing you wear in the depths of winter, so I was surprised he was wearing that.”

When Mr Caslin got to Mr Murrell, he pulled him up and told him to grip onto his harness.
“Controlling a kite is hard enough when it’s just you but to keep control with two is damn hard,” he said.

When a second boat arrived to pick up Mr Murrell, Mr Caslin thought his work was done but when Mr Murrell could not get himself onto the boat, friend Jack Grogan, 26, bravely adandoned his kite and went to help Mr Murrell get on board.

“He’s just lucky some people were around, it could have been much worse,” added Mr Caslin.

The incident occurred at about 1.25pm on Sunday, April 14.

Lifeboat and coastguard crews were also called to the scene.

Mr Murrell was treated for cold and shock but did not require hospital treatment.