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Kiting Fatality Analysis, 2000 - 6/2006

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RickI
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Kiting Fatality Analysis, 2000 - 6/2006

Postby RickI » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:41 pm

54 kiteboarder deaths worldwide have been reported to date since 2000.


How do kiteboarding accident fatality rates compare to that of other activities in the USA?

Motor Vehicle 15 per 100,000 *
Kitesurfing 6 to 12 per 100,000 ** 1
SCUBA diving 5 per 100,000 ***
Pedestrian 2 per 100,000 *

So, kiteboarding might be interpreted to safer than driving in the USA by this limited statistical indication. A more sensitive index would be offered by losses per hours kiteboarded just as in the case of losses per driving hours. No recognized estimates are currently available regarding hours kiteboarded vs. skill/years riding vs. time of year, etc..



* WISQARS http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars (2003)
** http://fksa.org/ (pending, 2006)
*** http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medic ... /index.asp (2003)

1. Three kiteboarders were lost in the USA in 2005. Using estimated rider populations in the USA (25 to 50 thousand that own kiteboarding gear), this equates to roughly 6 to 12 fatalities per 100,000 riders for 2005. Sorry for the USA only statistics, global loss statistics are hard to come by.

NOTE: all of these statistics are estimates to varying degrees and are derived from differing assumptions. Also, actually fatality rates per country vary substantially year to year. The statistics have been calculated from generally unconfirmed reported observations received from around the world. If new credible information is received regarding historical accidents as happens on occasion these statistics can change.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Last edited by RickI on Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:18 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Postby RickI » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:43 pm

The vast majority of kiting fatalities involve rider or operator error and in some cases appear to have been readily avoidable. Proper training, knowledge, use of good judgment, procedures and reasonable safety gear are key in avoiding operator error or minimizing the effects of such errors when they occur.

Severe accidents frequently involve the lack of sufficient:

Hazard Awareness, Appreciation and Avoidance.


Understanding launch area and riding conditions, WEATHER, your gear, emergency procedures (especially solo emergency landing), maintaining a reasonable downwind buffer all go a long way towards avoiding problems and focusing on having fun with a reasonable degree of safety.

Pride should be based upon more than knowing how to throw down some tricks and riding into extremes. It should also involve commanding a great deal of knowledge and skill about the sport, gear, about the riding environment, emergency management, water skills and the like.

FKA, Inc.

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Last edited by RickI on Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Klaus (c:E » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:06 pm

Hai,

thank You very much for these insights, Rick.
I would have guessed there were more fatalities but luckily i was wrong.
Just to stress the "distance is Your friend" approach:
The latest close calls (including surgery because of life treatening head injury) we have heard of in europe all took place in on shore winds above 20 knots. That´s when running leeward doesn´t help too much anymore and You´re not pulled along the beach or dragged into the water but hit the obstacles waiting for You on land.

Sea You: Klaus (c:E

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Re: Kiting Fatalities ... how many?

Postby reinis » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:13 pm

RickI wrote:54 kiteboarder deaths worldwide have been reported since 2000.


How do kiteboarding accident fatality rates compare to that of other activities in the USA?



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is it just the US or the whole world??

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Re: Kiting Fatalities ... how many?

Postby RickI » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:24 pm

That is 54 reported kiting fatalities for the entire world since 2000.

16 of this total or almost 30% happened in 2005.

8 of this total or almost 15% have happened so far in 2006.


There may be more, these are the ones that were reported. I felt it was important to compare these losses to other activities. Unfortunately, I had a great deal of trouble finding credible loss statistics for other activities worldwide to compare against. I was able to find some credible statistics for the USA, hence the comparison.

FKA, Inc.

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Last edited by RickI on Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby MistralWind » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:42 pm

Hey RickI thanks for the good info
Has there been any death or serious accident( that you know of) from kiters using BOW/Flat/Sle kites? Have all been on C kites?
..or do you think its too soon to know this info?

please let me know if you have the info, Ill really appreciate it!

thanks
good winds!
-pancho

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Toby
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Postby Toby » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:46 pm

thx for the info.

interesting read...wow, 54 is a lot! And I'm sure we are missing some death. I assume we are about 70 since 2000.

What about windsurfing or surfing? Any stats somewhere?

Can we say that over the years the number of fatalities have increased in relation to the increasing numbers of kiters?

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Postby RickI » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:48 pm

To my knowledge there have been no fatalities involving flat kites yet.

I fear we may be in for some significant losses as people rediscover reality particularly in high and excessively gusty winds with flat kites.

Flat kites give an edge but you can be undone in many ways at the high end. I am disturbed by all the reports of sessions in 35 to 50 mph winds. I suspect a good part of this may be exaggeration of actual winds but people may still be lead on by such reports to have their own personal collisions against hard reality in time. I would say for any reported session above 35 mph, make damned sure about the wind speed you are reporting. If you are uncertain, say so and avoid guessing high!

NOTE: For every fatality there is reason to believe that there have been many more non-fatal but severe accidents.

The good news is that in avoiding a fatal accident you can readily avoid less severe injuries as well by the same practices.

It is a numbers game.

Poor practices won't necessarily get you killed or even injured. They just increase the odds of having a readily avoidable accident that may take you out permanently, or lay you up with a lingering disability or trash your gear and/or our access.

Kiting past a minimum level is EASY, just like steering an airplane. It takes a lot more than that to do it well over the long haul with reasonable safety for yourself, bystanders and the good of our sport.

FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi
Last edited by RickI on Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Toby
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Postby Toby » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:53 pm

well, I hope we have less fatalities due to flat kite...this would show the right direction for our sport and its evolving equipment!

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Postby RickI » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:54 pm

Toby wrote:thx for the info.

interesting read...wow, 54 is a lot! And I'm sure we are missing some death. I assume we are about 70 since 2000.

What about windsurfing or surfing? Any stats somewhere?

Can we say that over the years the number of fatalities have increased in relation to the increasing numbers of kiters?


I wouldn't be surprised if there was a quantity of unreported fatalities out there worldwide.

I have broken down losses per year, years of experience, age, month, season, wind speed, relative direction, location/activity, etc. and a great deal more. This summary will be posted soon. I suspect that a portion of the dramatic increase in 2005 was attributable to the increase in rider population.

I have little doubt that properly operated within reasonable manufacturer's wind specifications, flat kites could substantially improve the loss experience in our sport. By some indications, they may have already. How many people will be caught out pushing extremes with flat kites beyond recommended limits in time? Too many perhaps.

SBC Kiteboard will also be carrying more statistics and information in the next issue.

FKA, Inc.

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Last edited by RickI on Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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