But the point is, people with kite low were not lofted. If you are being pulled with kite low it's time to release it, and you have plenty of time.
My experience dealing with squalls like this has been to stay off shore and put the kite in the water. When it's not flying it's not generating apparent wind, thus far less power. Worst case, put the wing tip in the water to prevent you from getting lofted, and now you will have time to find the quick release and get your hand on it because you are not moving. Your kite is in the water everyone knows you are in trouble. You are not going to get lofted. Speaking from experience, ridden out some bad squalls this way with no issues.
I agree RickI's advice is barely adequate. I am not defending Rick.
BUT that doesn't mean the accident was a completely unavoidable incident of bad luck either.
The guy made a ton of mistakes. 1) Being out there 2) coming into shore during squall 3) not crashing kite in the water 4) leaving kite high 5) not releasing the kite off shore and swimiming in when he realized he was getting over powered.
All of this before the first lofting, no luck required. After the initial lofting he's pretty much screwed.
Been there done that, in a very similar situation, and thats when I analyzed what I did wrong and how to avoid it in the future.
As soon as you see a column of rain like that coming (everyone admitted they saw it), the kite should have been in the water (or on the ground) and hand on the quick release, period.
Coming into shore is something you want to avoid at all costs.