Franky Zapata stands on his jet-powered "flyboard" as he takes off from Sangatte, northern France, attempting to fly across the 35-kilometre (22-mile) Channel crossing in 20 minutes, while keeping an average speed of 140 kilometres an hour (87 mph) at a height of 15-20 metres (50-65 feet) above the sea on July 25, 2019.(Photo by Denis Charlet / AFP)

SANGATTE, – A daredevil French inventor on Thursday failed in his attempt to fly across the Channel standing on a jet-powered “flyboard”, crashing into the sea but vowing to try again.

Franky Zapata, 40, a former jet-skiing champion, had to be fished out of the Channel by rescuers after falling into the busy shipping lane between France and Britain during a tricky refuelling manouevre.

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But Zapata, who suffered only a scratched elbow, said afterwards that while he was “disappointed” he would be having another go in the future.

Zapata took off successfully from Sangatte in northern France and had planned to land in Britain at St Margaret’s Bay outside Dover after a flight of just 20 minutes.

But the refuelling was always set to be one of the most difficult parts of the operation and Zapata made contact with the refuelling platform due to the waves, forcing him into the sea.

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“I am disappointed. Now it’s certain that I will cross again but I don’t know when. I will need to renegotiate with everyone,” he told AFP after being taken back to France. (AFP)




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