x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai kite-surfer, 28, drowns in Los Angeles

Well-known kite-surfer was visiting his parents in California at the time.

DUBAI // A well-known kite-surfer from the emirate drowned in Los Angeles on Monday after becoming tangled in a bed of kelp.

Dante Torres, a 28-year-old Filipino resident of Dubai, was visiting his parents in the US for the first time in six years when the accident happened.

Zeena Zalameya, a close friend, said Torres had been unable to visit his parents earlier because he couldn't get a US visa.

She described him as an avid and experienced kite-surfer. "He loved kite-surfing and he would always go to Bahrain for kit- surfing weekends," she said.

Mr Torres had worked in Dubai since 2010 as a television producer for satellite TV network OSN.

"We were introduced when he moved to Dubai in 2010 and he loved sports," Ms Zalameya said.

The LA County Fire Department said a 911 call was placed at around 6.20pm local time on Monday, according to the online newspaper of LA Weekly.

When he was pulled out of the water off the coast of Malibu's Topanga County Beach some 20 minutes later he was not breathing, it reported.

According to Ms Zalameya this was not the first time Torres endangered his life doing sport. "He almost died last year when he was cycling for a charity group from Nepal to Tibet," she said. "He lost his breath and almost choked due to the altitude," she said.

amustafa@thenational.ae