French inventor and former jet-ski champion Franky Zapata has failed in his bold attempt to cross the English Channel on a flyboard, falling agonizingly short of his refuelling spot and plunging into the sea.

Zapata, 40, had hoped to cross the English Channel in just 20 minutes, commuting between northern France and southern England via the rather ostentatious jet-powered flyboard while maintaining an average speed of 140kph (87mph), travelling between 15 and 20 meters (50-65ft) above the water.

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