Kitesurfers in trouble

by Maarten on May 9, 2009

KNRM Helikoptor

KNRM Helicopter

Friday afternoon seem to be a great surfing day, but it turned out to be a horrible day. Because of the unpredictable weather several kitesurfers had an accident.

The weather shifted quickly from windy to stormy weather. One of the kitesurfers was picked up by a wind gust and was smacked into a nearby building. As a consequence he incurred back lesion. An other kitesurfer was missing and but was localized by a rescue helicopter.

The rescue services hurried to the wounded kitesurfer where they gave him first aid. Unfortunately they were not able to rescue him.

These horrible accidents show how dangerous kitesurfing can be. Also, this is not the first time an accident like this has happened. Last year a german guy had a similar accident (=dutch link) and was also heavily injured.

Since I don’t have a lot of experience with kitesurfing  it’s hard to imagine how accidents like these happen. I heard kites have a de-powering system or some other rescue system, but when you are already 10m up in the sky you are too late to de-power your kite.

As a kitesurfer you clearly need to know what you are doing. Check always the wheaterforecast for your surfspot and don’t overestimate your own skills. Try to avoid any obstacles and try to train on these extraodanary situations.

Are there any kitesurfer who can explain how to avoid these kind of accidents?

Update: Read more about how you can stay safe while kitesurfing.

{ 1 comment }

Nabi Rasch May 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm

There's no absolute way to avoid accidents or 'stay safe' while kitesurfing; you have to accept that it's a high risk sport where unhappy surprises can instantly appear. That's the best way (aside from not kiting at all) to stay safe. Last winter (2008-2009) two kiters died within the space of a couple of months at La Ventana, Mexico. One of the bodies washed ashore practically at my feet while I was preparing to have dinner at the seaside restaurant there. Another day, 3 kiters went to the hospital almost at once. A young kiter some of my friends know fractured his pelvis and spine and is permanently debilitated. Even when the injuries happen to 'experts' and instructors, the kiting community tends to overlook or rationalize the carnage–in fact, kiters have somewhat turned the danger into a joke by referring to a busy kiting scene as 'carnage'–i.e. 'Look at the carnage out there!' I don't know of any other sport where the word 'carnage' is a positive expression used to crank participants up.

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