Airwave Sport 3-L paraglider, no reg
After takeoff from a cliff-top soaring site the pilot did not find adequate lift either to remain level or to climb. He turned towards a nearby beach to land however, due to his rate of descent, he was unable to reach the beach and landed in the sea. He appeared uninjured from the landing and, remaining in his harness, attempted to gather his canopy and climb onto submerged rocks. Owing to the high tide and strength of the swell his efforts to gather the canopy were unsuccessful and, despite attempts by others to rescue him, he drowned before being reached by the local inshore lifeboat. The pilot was not wearing a lifejacket. The investigation found the pilot had been properly trained, including training in emergency water landing procedures. His equipment was fully serviceable. It is believed he was not able to soar due to his chosen flight path after takeoff, which took him too far from the edge of the cliff and its associated band of lift. Two safety recommendations are made.