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Again Fatality in South of France

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Toby
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Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Toby » Wed May 27, 2015 4:38 pm

Very sad to hear about another fatality again in south of France, Barcares

A German kiter was lofted and hit ground and died.

Here the French article.

The spot is supposed to be really gusty, with winds from 20-40 knots.

Few months ago we already had a fatality in this area as well, also a lofting.

Condolences to family and friends.

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby dimip » Wed May 27, 2015 5:24 pm

Now everybody (like me) will say it's piece, but I don't get it. Experienced kiter or not, does anybody have fun when it's gusting 20-40 knots?
We have this sometimes when is SE, I have tried sometimes but not fun, very frustrating and can be dangerous...

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Bille » Wed May 27, 2015 5:33 pm

That is Sad !!
I think this fatality, makes 6 kiters, that have lost their life in 2015 ?
If i'm correct ; that is more deaths this year, than both Hang gliding and Paragliding
combined .

The only reason i started to kite board, was to find a sport that was a bit safer than
when i'm flying on a HG , or PG ; apparently i was wrong about that , and it would
be good to figure out "WHY" i was wrong ?

This is a rather delicate question that Needs answering ; and
there's no disrespect intended :

Kite boarding is a rather benign sport , compared to all the ways i can die , while
gliding ; could it have something to do with training , or is it the mentality and EGO of
the sport enthusiast , that's to blame for the difference in the kill ratio between flying
and kiting , so far this year ?

Bille

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Laughingman » Wed May 27, 2015 5:53 pm

Bille wrote:That is Sad !!
I think this fatality, makes 6 kiters, that have lost their life in 2015 ?
If i'm correct ; that is more deaths this year, than both Hang gliding and Paragliding
combined .

The only reason i started to kite board, was to find a sport that was a bit safer than
when i'm flying on a HG , or PG ; apparently i was wrong about that , and it would
be good to figure out "WHY" i was wrong ?

This is a rather delicate question that Needs answering ; and
there's no disrespect intended :

Kite boarding is a rather benign sport , compared to all the ways i can die , while
gliding ; could it have something to do with training , or is it the mentality and EGO of
the sport enthusiast , that's to blame for the difference in the kill ratio between flying
and kiting , so far this year ?

Bille
Sad to hear, RIP.

Many people who want to kiteboard are from cross over sports like wakeboarding or snowboarding... they think that since they have some sort of board sport experience they already understand the risk involved and they do not perceive the kite as a wing or that kite boarding is almost flying.
People who HG and PG realize they are flying, pretty easy to perceive that risk so therefore you work hard to mitigate those risks with safety checks and practices.
How many paragliders would go out in winds which were as gusty as these? Even if they were just to stay just a few feet above the ground, how many would take the risk? Kiters do it all the time...

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Thor SFBay » Wed May 27, 2015 6:03 pm

Well Billie, you can't really compare hang gliding and paragliding fatalities to kiteboarding unless you also take into account the number of people involved. I imagine that there are a lot more kiteboarders than there are hang gliders, but I don't know the actual numbers. If you want to rank outdoor sports for risk, I think base jumping will win as the most dangerous. People die in lots of ways, so the fact that people die kiteboarding doesn't necessarily mean it is too dangerous. People die slipping in bath tubs so maybe you should rethink taking a shower every day. And whatever you do - DON"T DRIVE YOUR CAR!!!! 30,000 people die every year in car crashes in the USA.

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Feng » Wed May 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Lets start with some insensitive not politically correct remark:
Un Allemand de 55 ans qui pratiquait le kitesurf sur l’étang de Salses-Leucate, .. a fait une chute mortelle quand une bourrasque de vent l’a projeté sur la plage contre un reste d’ancien bunker
A 55 years old German doing kite surf in Leucate was killed after a sudden gust as it landed on a old bunker (I guess an old blockhaus).
So a German was kill by the remains of the WII German army.

Now more seriously some analysis:
La victime était «un amateur venu avec son propre matériel et qui avait déjà eu un incident sans gravité sur l’étang peu avant» l’accident.
the victime was an amateur (what ever it means) kite with his own gear (OK) who ALREADY had a MINOR incident on the pound JUSTE BEFORE the accident.
Basically despite the early warning, he did not understand that the condition were above his head.
il y avait «des rafales à 80 km/h». ... Les gens du coin connaissent ce type de vent très fort, les kitesurfers d’ici n’ont pas d’accident» de ce genre, Mais les touristes étrangers n’ont pas l’habitude de conditions de vent, ils devraient prendre des précautions»,
There was gust up to 80 km/h (43 KNOTS).
The local guys know those type of high wind. The local kites do not have accident.
But the tourist are not used to the conditions and should be careful.

To summarize:: this guy did not know how to read a wind meter. He did not know that he was not able to handle 43 knots and despite an early warning he did not stop kiting.

Personally I kite since 2003. I have kite in Beauduc (south of France) up to 30 knots average, gust up to 35 knots in a relative open open water (wind is parallel to the beach in those condition).
I would NEVER kite with gust at 43 knots in a POUND (i.e. with beach all around you).
I did some windsurfing in Leucate years ago and I know that it is super gusty.
Last edited by Feng on Wed May 27, 2015 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Feng
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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby Feng » Wed May 27, 2015 6:17 pm

Thor SFBay wrote:Well Billie, you can't really compare hang gliding and paragliding fatalities to kiteboarding unless you also take into account the number of people involved. I imagine that there are a lot more kiteboarders than there are hang gliders, but I don't know the actual numbers. If you want to rank outdoor sports for risk, I think base jumping will win as the most dangerous. People die in lots of ways, so the fact that people die kiteboarding doesn't necessarily mean it is too dangerous. People die slipping in bath tubs so maybe you should rethink taking a shower every day. And whatever you do - DON"T DRIVE YOUR CAR!!!! 30,000 people die every year in car crashes in the USA.
I read some years ago a article on accidents in "extreme sport". "Extreme" means that you have the possibility to be seriously injured.
According to this article, the death rate was the same on the long run for all sports.
The analysis was that the people are pushing the limit until the accident rate (around them) increases to a certain level and then they start to be more cautious.

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby matth » Wed May 27, 2015 6:31 pm

Very sad indeed....RIP

I get a sinking feeling every time I read these stories. This is a great sport, but it does have a dark side..

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby edt » Wed May 27, 2015 6:31 pm

bille kiteboarding is getting safer and safer all the time. Unfortunately human's have this thing called "risk compensation" you can go to the wiki page on it but just to cite an example:

"In a Munich study, part of a fleet of taxicabs were equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), while the remainder had conventional brake systems. In other respects, the two types of cars were identical. The crash rates, studied over three years, were a little higher for the cabs with ABS, Wilde concluded that drivers of ABS-equipped cabs took more risks, assuming that ABS would take care of them; non-ABS drivers were said to drive more carefully since they could not rely on ABS in a dangerous situation."

In other words, 10 years ago a raw beginner would never even think of going out in 20-40 knots the gear was just too unsafe. New kites by contrast are very safe, plenty of bar depower, safety releases that fire under load, so kiters are taking more risks than they would have back when kiting first started.

What can you do.

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Re: Again Fatality in South of France

Postby matth » Wed May 27, 2015 6:49 pm

dimip wrote:Now everybody (like me) will say it's piece, but I don't get it. Experienced kiter or not, does anybody have fun when it's gusting 20-40 knots?
We have this sometimes when is SE, I have tried sometimes but not fun, very frustrating and can be dangerous...

I'm with you , gusty , angry wind is really not that much fun and can be very dangerous. Especially launching and landing..


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