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Kite fatality Lake Champlain

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matth
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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby matth » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:36 pm

It is strongly believed he was snowkiting...

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irwe
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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby irwe » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:52 pm

Tragic News.

I went into the Lake ( 2m wide pressure crack) 2 weeks ago while WingSkiing.

Conditions: +2 C, Sunny, Ice thickness (15 - 30 cm). Ice Fishers on Lake with ATV's, Water depth 7 m, Pressure Crack 2 m wide

Wearing a Helmet and Throw bag but no PFD.

When I approached the pressure crack at speed the Sun was in my eyes and I thought I was going to hit smooth ice but it was open water.
I glided halfway across the water then sank in. I swam to the Shoreline edge of the crack. I couldn't pull myself out with my skis on so I kicked off my skis. My ski boots filled quickly with water and it felt as if I was wearing concrete blocks. I still couldn't pull myself onto the ice surface (ice was too smooth and slippery - I can do a 100 chin ups and 50 dips so I am physically strong enough to get out if possible). My Wing Buddie (Firefighter) was 300 m away from me but on the Lake side of the crack. I knew if he was going to help me I would need to get on the Lakeside of the crack. I let go of the edge and swam across the 2 m crack (my cement blocks - ski boots- were trying to take me under water). Luckily I use to be a competitive Water-polo player. When my Wing Buddie realized I was in the water he came over. He wasn't wearing a Throw bag. I had one on figuring if one of us would go throught the ice it would be my Wing Buddie ( 100 kg me 72 kg). He laid down on the ice and extended a ski out to me. I couldn't grip it tight enough to get out. After 2 failed attempts my Wing Buddie extend his arm and we locked arms and I was able to get out.

The next thing was to get back to shore. My Wing Buddie suggested I take one of his skis, but since we are different Boot sizes it would have taken too long to adjust so I decided to Wing back on my Ski Boots. Luckily we were Up Wind of a spot to get back to shore and the wind was side shore.
I was able to Wing on my heals when the ice was smooth and 'run' with the Wing when the ice got bumpy.

Once I got back to shore my Wing Buddie was able to Wing back to his Pick Up Truck to get me.

Once on shore I stayed warm doing Jumping Jacks and deflated my Wing.

Lessons Learned when on the Ice

Wing with a Buddie
Wear a PFD
Wear a Throw Bag
Wear Ice Awls ( I had a pair in my Hat drawer. This was the missing link for me. If I was wearing them I would have been able to pull myself out)

I went out WingSkiing the next day with all of the above on.
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IceAwls.jpg
Ice Awls
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elguapo
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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby elguapo » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:03 pm

my goodness man..
glad you're ok.

irwe wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:52 pm
Tragic News.

I went into the Lake ( 2m wide pressure crack) 2 weeks ago while WingSkiing.

Conditions: +2 C, Sunny, Ice thickness (15 - 30 cm). Ice Fishers on Lake with ATV's, Water depth 7 m, Pressure Crack 2 m wide

Wearing a Helmet and Throw bag but no PFD.

When I approached the pressure crack at speed the Sun was in my eyes and I thought I was going to hit smooth ice but it was open water.
I glided halfway across the water then sank in. I swam to the Shoreline edge of the crack. I couldn't pull myself out with my skis on so I kicked off my skis. My ski boots filled quickly with water and it felt as if I was wearing concrete blocks. I still couldn't pull myself onto the ice surface (ice was too smooth and slippery - I can do a 100 chin ups and 50 dips so I am physically strong enough to get out if possible). My Wing Buddie (Firefighter) was 300 m away from me but on the Lake side of the crack. I knew if he was going to help me I would need to get on the Lakeside of the crack. I let go of the edge and swam across the 2 m crack (my cement blocks - ski boots- were trying to take me under water). Luckily I use to be a competitive Water-polo player. When my Wing Buddie realized I was in the water he came over. He wasn't wearing a Throw bag. I had one on figuring if one of us would go throught the ice it would be my Wing Buddie ( 100 kg me 72 kg). He laid down on the ice and extended a ski out to me. I couldn't grip it tight enough to get out. After 2 failed attempts my Wing Buddie extend his arm and we locked arms and I was able to get out.

The next thing was to get back to shore. My Wing Buddie suggested I take one of his skis, but since we are different Boot sizes it would have taken too long to adjust so I decided to Wing back on my Ski Boots. Luckily we were Up Wind of a spot to get back to shore and the wind was side shore.
I was able to Wing on my heals when the ice was smooth and 'run' with the Wing when the ice got bumpy.

Once I got back to shore my Wing Buddie was able to Wing back to his Pick Up Truck to get me.

Once on shore I stayed warm doing Jumping Jacks and deflated my Wing.

Lessons Learned when on the Ice

Wing with a Buddie
Wear a PFD
Wear a Throw Bag
Wear Ice Awls ( I had a pair in my Hat drawer. This was the missing link for me. If I was wearing them I would have been able to pull myself out)

I went out WingSkiing the next day with all of the above on.

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby Toby » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:15 pm

Wow Irwe, tuff story, glad you are ok!

Interesting you went out the next day again...some people would have suffered a strong trauma.

Maybe that's also what happened to Pierre?

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby edt » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:25 pm

I've fallen thru a few times. You can't pull your self out with your hands. What you have to do is dolphin kick to get your body on the ice then roll back the way you came. Ice picks are great too I have a pair and sometimes use them. Never fell thru with ski boots on before that sounds challenging. Ice picks are such a small thing to carry I need to remember to pack them more often.

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby Windigo1 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:29 pm

Pretty sad to loose a fellow kiter. Apparently the guy was snow kiting on the ice with a paraskiflex those are like a cross between a kite and a sail they don't float and they stop pulling when there is no tension in the lines, the lines are short and they just fall flat and stay there once on the ground.

An inflated kites with long lines could have helped get out of the hole it happened to several people I know and they powered out. Some even do it on purpose going from ice to water.

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby fluidity » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:54 am

Windigo1 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:29 pm
Pretty sad to loose a fellow kiter. Apparently the guy was snow kiting on the ice with a paraskiflex those are like a cross between a kite and a sail they don't float and they stop pulling when there is no tension in the lines, the lines are short and they just fall flat and stay there once on the ground.

An inflated kites with long lines could have helped get out of the hole it happened to several people I know and they powered out. Some even do it on purpose going from ice to water.
https://www.paraskiflex.com/difference/
It could turn into a water anchor- I hope they have a quick release!

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby joriws » Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:05 am

irwe wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:52 pm
I went into the Lake ( 2m wide pressure crack) 2 weeks ago while WingSkiing.

Lessons Learned when on the Ice

Wing with a Buddie
Wear a PFD
Wear a Throw Bag
Wear Ice Awls ( I had a pair in my Hat drawer. This was the missing link for me. If I was wearing them I would have been able to pull myself out)
What a close call story, glad that you are ok. Was your wing a skimbat style non-floating wing as you did not mention using that as floating-aid?

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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby Hugh2 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:03 pm

Lessons Learned when on the Ice

Wing with a Buddie
Wear a PFD
Wear a Throw Bag
Wear Ice Awls ( I had a pair in my Hat drawer. This was the missing link for me. If I was wearing them I would have been able to pull myself out)

Similar experience way back when living in Madison, Wisconsin, mid-eighties. Ice skating across Lake Mendota on New Year's Eve late at night with friends and spotted a beautiful smooth 2m wide section ahead and sped towards it anticipating a long glide, realizing just in time that it was actually an open water crack and managed to turn away. It could well have been tragic as we were just wearing winter clothes, no PFD or ice-picks.

Glad you got out okay. These days we ice-boat and skate on local lakes regularly (had only one good three-day weekend this year) and several of us have gone through. But we usually wear a PFD and carry ice-picks. Twenty years ago my wife was riding with a buddy on his home-made ice boat and we kept going too late in the day as it warmed up. Ice cracked in front of them, they hit the crack and stopped, and then went through. I was riding my windsurfing freeskate and managed to use the laid-down mast to get my buddy out, but my wife was on the weaker ice side and I could not get close. I slid my ice-picks to her and after breaking the ice for a few meters she managed to pull herself out.

Personally I've broken through partially twice. Once managed to power the sail up and pulled out of it. Second time managed to get off the iceboat onto thicker ice before it tipped in. We have a lot of respect for the ice and cold water, but sadly my wife has never recovered her confidence in the ice. Sad to hear of someone losing their life this way.
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irwe
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Re: Kite fatality Lake Champlain

Postby irwe » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:11 am

joriws wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:05 am
irwe wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:52 pm
I went into the Lake ( 2m wide pressure crack) 2 weeks ago while WingSkiing.

Lessons Learned when on the Ice

Wing with a Buddie
Wear a PFD
Wear a Throw Bag
Wear Ice Awls ( I had a pair in my Hat drawer. This was the missing link for me. If I was wearing them I would have been able to pull myself out)
What a close call story, glad that you are ok. Was your wing a skimbat style non-floating wing as you did not mention using that as floating-aid?
I was using a 5 m Swing. When I went in the water I used the Wing for floatation to get to the edge. I felt like I was on a T.V.. Game Show and the Host is annoucing to the Audience "Alright he's got 3 minutes to get out before Hypothemia set's in. Let's see if he can do it. The ccountdown has begun."
If I didn't have my Wing Buddie near by I would have tried to use the leading edge of the Wing for support with one hand on the Wing and the other on the ice edge. You want to try and get your self Horizontal on the ice. It's not easy with the slippery ice and the 'concrete blocks on your feet' but I think I could have done it.

The Kiter on Lake Champlain on the ParaskiFlex (I own one) if he was riding the standard set up would have had short lines (~ 2m) and a Fixed Horse Briddle clip on his harness. The leading edge of the ParaskiFlex is similar to a multiple piece tent pole and the kite goes perfectly flat once on the ground. It would have offered no support for him and it would have taken extra time to release from his harness lines.
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