The open water sports community of Lewis is in mourning today after news of the death of an experienced island surfer yesterday morning (Wednesday November 13th).

The Maritime Coastguard Agency said the man died after being pulled unconscious from the water at Barvas by a fellow surfer.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre received a call for assistance at 11.37am, and immediately tasked Coastguard Rescue Teams from Stornoway, Bragar and Ness, with rescue helicopter R948 also s ent to the scene. An ambulance crew and police officers also attended.

The man was given CPR on the beach but could not be revived. He was then taken by helicopter to Western Isles Hospital, where he was sadly confirmed to have died.

Stornoway police said that enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances and the Procurator Fiscal has been informed, as is usual with a sudden death.

Barvas beach is popular with surfers, with consistently good surf and a long swell. It’s described as having a ‘friendly’ reef-break by one surf blogger and is often used by the local surfing community.

Outdoor swimming and surfing enthusiasts have paid tribute to the man, who has been named locally. He was a keen and experienced surfer who ran a small business creating bespoke designs of personalised surfboard.

Watersports activity in the island has been suspended as a mark of respect.