Kite-surfer's ashes scattered at beach where he died doing what he loved
- Credit: Jessica Coppins
A popular kite-surfer's ashes were scattered at the beach where he died doing what he loved during an emotional memorial.
Andy Smith's tragic death at Walberswick beach in February caused an outpouring of grief from family, friends and those he had taught to ride the waves over many years.
The 52-year-old, from Darsham, was a successful kite-surfing instructor for nine years, teaching hundreds of people across the world.
He was described as a "kind, caring and generous soul", with his family since raising £3,000 for the RNLI Southwold Lifeboat Station - which tried to save Andy - in his memory.
Because few people could attend his funeral during the coronavirus restrictions, a memorial was organised at Walberswick beach on Saturday - where his ashes were finally scattered at the place he loved.
Deb Smith, Andy's sister, said: "When Andy passed away, we weren't able to have a wake or any kind of gathering because of Covid restrictions.
"However, we were absolutely overwhelmed by the response to his death.
"There was a lot of emotion attached to it, not just within the family but also the kite-surfing community and Andy's school friends.
"The messages were all saying how much time he had for people.
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"Everyone called him 'Mr Fix It', because he was always doing something for someone. He always had a box of tricks to help people out.
There were condolences sent from as far away as Sri Lanka and Vietnam, where Andy would escape to during British winters to enjoy warmer weather and teach people kite-surfing.
"I found it very comforting to hear he was loved by so many people," Deb added.
"When you're with your brother, you think he's great but you never know what other people think.
"When we read all the messages, it made us even more proud of him."
Saturday's event also included a presentation of the £3,000 of fundraising to Southwold Lifeboat Station.
"So many people asked us if we would organise a beach-based event, so they could come down to celebrate him," said Deb, who was often Andy's "travelling sidekick".
"I think Andy would've loved it. Everything we've tried to do is what he would've wanted.
"He was very much a free spirit. He wasn't one for wanting to stay indoors if he could help it.
"I think he would've enjoyed chatting and having a few beers in the evening."