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Kiting Fatality Analysis, 2000 - 6/2006

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lezo
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Postby lezo » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:52 pm

Thanks RickI for the great info.

This year I have witnessed several relatively minor accidents (fortunately no major ones) such as small loftings resulting in bruises and wrecked gear, and every time I thought that it could have been avoided if the kiter had a bow/hybrid kite. Tangles are maybe an exception, but I have not seen a tangle with severe consequences yet. I have not seen yet people going (or rather staying) out with bows in too high winds, those who are less experienced are usually too much impressed before reaching the limit. Maybe we was lucky up to now, but I share your feeling that bows are a real advance in safety, not just marketing hype.

Reading the other threads about the dangers of kiting in high surf and having been badly treated myself by waves several times recently (fortunately without a scratch for me and my gear), I wondered if you know about any fatalities caused clearly by the surf, such as drowning after getting tangled in the lines or hit on the head by the board while surfing etc.?

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Postby mobettah » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:35 am

lezo wrote:Thanks RickI for the great info.

This year I have witnessed several relatively minor accidents (fortunately no major ones) such as small loftings resulting in bruises and wrecked gear, and every time I thought that it could have been avoided if the kiter had a bow/hybrid kite. Tangles are maybe an exception, but I have not seen a tangle with severe consequences yet. I have not seen yet people going (or rather staying) out with bows in too high winds, those who are less experienced are usually too much impressed before reaching the limit. Maybe we was lucky up to now, but I share your feeling that bows are a real advance in safety, not just marketing hype.

Reading the other threads about the dangers of kiting in high surf and having been badly treated myself by waves several times recently (fortunately without a scratch for me and my gear), I wondered if you know about any fatalities caused clearly by the surf, such as drowning after getting tangled in the lines or hit on the head by the board while surfing etc.?

Not a kiting death but a surfer died at Pipeline (Malik Joyeux) December 2005 after most likely wiping out and hitting the reef or getting hit by his board.

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:05 am

lezo wrote:Thanks RickI for the great info.

Reading the other threads about the dangers of kiting in high surf and having been badly treated myself by waves several times recently (fortunately without a scratch for me and my gear), I wondered if you know about any fatalities caused clearly by the surf, such as drowning after getting tangled in the lines or hit on the head by the board while surfing etc.?


Yes, there have been at least six fatalities (11%) that occurred as a result of surf and/or entanglements. Two of the fatalities happened at the same launch in Holland, Ijmuiden at the entrance to Amsterdam harbor. I believe that a combination of shallow water, strong running tidal currents and opposing winds sometimes setup quite steep bore-like waves. There is evidence to suggest that riders have hit these wall like waves at sufficient speed to cause loss of consciousness and/or cervical fracture and death by drowning. One of these cases happened to a very experienced rider in excessively gusty sideoffshore winds that alternated between heavily underpowered to overpowered conditions.

Two other cases involved wave propelled impacts against underwater rocks with one perhaps being complicated by an entanglement. Yet another case involved a solo rider apparently attempting to climb out of the water after abandoning his gear up some rocks in pounding surf pehaps in desperation to get out of the water exhausted (no flotation, impact vest). He was apparently knocked off by the surf striking his head (no helmet) and drowning. A wave free exit in sheltered water lay not too far away up a nearby inlet.

I suspect there have been many more non-fatal cases of involving surf, impacts and entanglements.

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marekmk
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Fatalities

Postby marekmk » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:02 am

Sadly I know of three fatalities that have not appeared on any of the forums. Two in France on the same lake in the past 4 months, the other within 40 mile of the English coast line.

Not all kiters use forums for there information, in fact some loath them and want nothing to do with them.

After speaking to members of the small kiteing communitie in-involved they felt it was not in there interest to report these three accidents at it would have a major impact on how there sport is percieved and would not be wise to publise them.

The numbers reported do not reflect the appaling carnage that is happening in a sport that so many of us love and are addicted to.

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Postby Toby » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:14 am

but keeping stats may be a way in the future to get access back?
Imagine everything gets safer and we have stats about fatalities which proof this as well, then we have the best argument that the sport got safer.

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lezo
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Re: Fatalities

Postby lezo » Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:01 am

marekmk wrote:Sadly I know of three fatalities that have not appeared on any of the forums. Two in France on the same lake in the past 4 months, the other within 40 mile of the English coast line.


Marekmk- Which lake was that? I don't doubt that your info is right but I'm really surprised not having heard about these accidents neither on the french forums, nor in the newspapers...
Last edited by lezo on Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RickI
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Re: Fatalities

Postby RickI » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:44 pm

marekmk wrote:Sadly I know of three fatalities that have not appeared on any of the forums. Two in France on the same lake in the past 4 months, the other within 40 mile of the English coast line.

Not all kiters use forums for there information, in fact some loath them and want nothing to do with them.

After speaking to members of the small kiteing communitie in-involved they felt it was not in there interest to report these three accidents at it would have a major impact on how there sport is percieved and would not be wise to publise them.

The numbers reported do not reflect the appaling carnage that is happening in a sport that so many of us love and are addicted to.


Preservation of life and function has a significant bearing in all of this. When the efforts to track accidents were started five years ago, few cared or worse thought much about trying to learn about how to avoid repetition. If people hadn't come forward over the years in the interest to try to help others, this sport would truly be in a dire mess and not progressing into more sustainable forms as is the case.

I am not aware of any kitesurfing fatalities on any lake, worldwide. There was one involving snowkiting however. Inland kitesurfing carries significant differences and hazards from coastal conditions. I would say important lessons may be contained in these tragic accidents and should be passed on. To suppress such information is to potentially encourage repetition, whether in France or in another country on the other side of the world.

Specifics regarding the identity of this lake don't necessarily have to come out. Sensitive information has been held in confidence in the past upon specific request. Then again, if there are sufficient specific hazards to this lake, shouldn't riders know about them? Still, some information is better than none at all.

Worried about statistics? By current calculations, loss rates for kiteboarding fall below automotive accidents and appear to be significantly lower than published paragliding statistics in the USA. No one is threatening widespread bans on driving or paragliding. Knowledge will set you free (particularly if you pay attention to it), ignorance of the facts (if they are even available), may lull you into needless repetition.

How would you like a friend or loved one to have been lost for lack of some information or an example of what could go wrong?

Please notify me privately if you would like via PM to ricki or email to flkitesurfer at hotmail.com (insert @ before hotmail) to discuss these accidents and any others that may not have come to light. I feel this would be an important step, one that could potentially save others needless, tragic loss.

FKA, Inc,.

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Tom183
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Postby Tom183 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:53 pm

RickI wrote:Severe accidents frequently involve the lack of sufficient:

Hazard Awareness, Appreciation and Avoidance.


Definitely seeing plenty of that... Guys don't know a weather system / wind change is coming, they don't care, and they don't put down their kites.

marekmk
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Postby marekmk » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:27 pm

Toby I do agree with you that keeping stats is a possible way of getting access back.

If other kiters don't feel the same way and feel threatend by reporting accidents on there sites that iy,s sadly there choice, which is not productive for the rest of us.

Have shared the three accidents, in private with Rick1, as it helps him with all the amazing work he does for safety on this forum, regards, marek

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:28 pm

marekmk wrote:Toby I do agree with you that keeping stats is a possible way of getting access back.

If other kiters don't feel the same way and feel threatend by reporting accidents on there sites that iy,s sadly there choice, which is not productive for the rest of us.

Have shared the three accidents, in private with Rick1, as it helps him with all the amazing work he does for safety on this forum, regards, marek


Thank you for your assistance Marek. I will respect the confidences you have requested.

It is all about choices, particularly what, where and how to ride. Thanks to your information and that of numerous others, we should be able to make better decisions. This sport is about fun and shouldn't be mired in avoidable loss and tragedy caused by indifference and lack of awareness.

FKA, Inc.

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