Glad to hear all ended well TomW!
I'm curious to know what kind of kite the rescuer had that was still in the air?
Also, could the tube kite realistically be used as a sail to pull back to shore?
My 9 Hyperlink pulls and relaunches in wind where my 9 Ultra will do neither. Yes I have found conditions where I was unable to relaunch. In the lightest winds priority is to keep the kite flying and hopefully body drag back to shore. Swimming with a foil kite is a real chore by the way. With a non-relaunchable foil kite I would prioritize to stay with the board rather than the kite. Also, sitting on the board sometimes can give enough resistance to relaunch and enough float to stay calm and rest.
In my few deep water packdowns I have not had the good fortune to wrap the bar without tangles in a way that would allow a drift launch. Definitely need to go slow and get all the lines on the bar so as not to get wrapped.
This guy looks like he has a sense of humor:
Two thoughts on this video from me, a rookie: 1) It looks like the board volume is holding him back in the water start and 2) is possible by keeping the kite high he could have body dragged in rather than swim, but the thought is clouded by stoke.