Crossing the Channel in Flyboard Ends in the Water for Franky Zapata
The Frenchman Franky Zapata, “the flying man” who took off on Thursday morning near the beach of Sangatte (north-west of France) standing on his “Flyboard”, failed to cross the English Channel while falling at sea. when he had to refuel, before being rescued.
According to several sources, Mr. Zapata fell into English waters right next to the kerosene refueling boat and was rescued. He was aware at the time of the intervention to extract water, according to a radio conversation heard by an AFP journalist.
“He is well and he is being brought back to the coast. He was rescued by the divers of the boat. He reassured his wife that he had on the phone, “told AFP the mayor of the French city of Sangatte, Guy Lallemand.
“There was a worry about the supply between the French and English waters. As a result, he could not perform the procedure. So the crossing of the Channel is canceled, “said a spokeswoman for the Zapata team, refusing to explicitly confirm her fall.
Shortly after the news of the fall, the atmosphere was heavy on the beach of Sangatte. The team was repacking the equipment, the audience was out.
“The flying man” Franky Zapata storms the Channel on his “Flyboard”
To make this crossing of about 35 km of the Channel, 110 years after the exploit of the French Louis Blériot, first aviator to cross the strait by the air, Franky Zapata had to refuel his flying machine in kerosene to 18 km of the French coasts .
Champion of Europe and jet ski world, this 40-year-old man from Marseille (south-east) relied on a crossing of about twenty minutes to make the crossing and reach the English coast in the area of St Margaret’s Bay, flying at about 140 km / h and 15 or 20 meters above the water.
Around 07.05 GMT, standing on a kind of platform, feet firmly stuck as in snowboard boots, he had taken off vertically, in a deafening roar, a parking lot near the beach of Sangatte-Bleriot-Plage, in front of several dozens of curious applause and a large production team.
The “Flyboard”, an autonomous flying machine powered by kerosene stored in its backpack, is equipped with five mini-turbojets that allow it to take off and evolve up to 190 km / h standing in the air, with autonomy about ten minutes.