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Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

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Re: Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

Postby Do-it » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:36 pm

I bring a spot with me on solo base jumps.....why not?
great news.... I can now kite in offshore conditions because I have a spot......good thinking billie

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Re: Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

Postby Faxie » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:44 pm

edt wrote:that's a weird place to kite. It must be gusty from every direction. I can't imagine why you would go there but there must be good reasons for people going there even when you have all of that Atlantic coast to choose from.
Inland winds aren't extremely gusty in the Netherlands. People go there so they don't have to drive more than 2 hours for instance, and because they're familiar with the spot.

If you can't get upwind, you always land on the other side. Bit of a long walk, but at least you're not somewhere at sea. But it's still considered risky.

On the other hand... there are plenty of people kiting at sea with eastern winds... mostly German.

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Re: Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

Postby RickI » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:24 am

I wish his family and friends strength through this tragic time.

Thank you for the additional information Faxie, it helps to understand some of the conditions. The accident has some parallels to others in past years. A solo kiter, even if among others for part of the time, what might be termed offshore winds (even with latent sand bars in areas) on a not particularly large water body, with changing conditions including diminishing winds, approaching dark and hypothermic temperatures. The wind dropped around sunset at 1900 and he may have drifted off downwind away from the group while kiting prior to that time?

We may learn more details in time or not to help better understand what actually happened in this sad accident. What likely would have helped in this case and in the others I mentioned, among other factors, was to kite with others who keep track of you and to have folks ashore with knowledge of your plans, check in time,etc.. It can be inconvenient to arrange this but it can also be a life saver. Many have been lost over the years who likely wouldn't have if others had been keeping an eye on them. Life is all about choices and sometimes we choose to kite alone which can come with consequences if things go south.

Others have made good points, many of which might have made a difference, carrying some means of communication in particular. It sounds like the man knew he was in trouble before ditching his gear. It would have been a good time to call for help, assuming there was cell coverage or via emergency locator, before choosing to send his the gear off. One thing that can also help particularly with nighttime searches is highly reflective tape on helmet, the top of your flotation aid or somewhere that is visible above water. It makes it harder to miss the kiter, the kite would help in this regard as well but riders will separate from their gear at times for whatever reasons. There are lots of other factors that might have made a difference in this or in other accident scenarios, it is well worth thinking this over.

Faxie wrote:Just some extra details to clear things up:

Red dot marks the spot, smaller dot southwest marks the spot where the kiter was found.

There's a windmeter in the water over there, and it was measuring 16-20 knots all day, gusting no more than 24 knots. Around 19:00 the wind dropped to around 12 knots.

More importantly, wind was between 65-90 degrees during the day. Starting around 70, in the afternoon mostly 90 and in the evening 65. I marked the direction in the pictures... there are no big currents at that spot.

There were around 20-30 guys on the water that day. The spot southwest where the body was found, is a kitesurfing spot as well, with sideshore wind that day....

Last thing I heard, but not officially confirmed yet, was that he had a heartfaillure...


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Re: Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

Postby North_Wind » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:02 pm

plummet wrote: Yeah but of your being dragged offshore by your kite would you
a) stay hooked in and hope for rescue. you could be 30 miles out to sea before anyone knows your missing.
B) ditch the kite and attempt to swim in?

Which chance has the greatest success? I think i would roll with swim in rather than wait for a rescue that might never happen.
It depends where you are ... there are very few places and circumstances I would prefer a long swim to staying with the kite.

In this example the kiter was offshore The Netherlands. Looking at a map you will see that the UK is likely less than 50-100 kilometres away at this point and the sea between The Netherlands and the UK is some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with hundreds of vessels going in and out of Rotterdam, Felixstowe and Tilbury. Chances are very high you will be seen by a ship or a fisherman in just a few hours.

Sorry to hear about what happened.

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Re: Belgian kiter (64) found dead after a night long search - Netherlands

Postby NHKitesurfer » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:22 pm

The most popular kiting location in Boston Massachusetts is called Pleasure Bay and it's 100% offshore with a similar bay set up like the one pictured above. If wind dies or you have equipment failure you drift to the other side.

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