A preliminary summary pending review of more information and fact checking: The accident involved a well experienced kiter on a 14 m kite. For now it looks there was a nasty squall/thunderstorm moving into the beach. Winds before the storm may have been fine for a 14 m but not during. He decided try to get a quick session in. He had just solo launched before entering the water when he may have been hit by a strong squall gust perhaps on the order of over 50 mph lofting him into the house. A nearby windgraph from Port Everglades shows up below. I am still trying to learn the exact time of the accident as reports have varied. It seems to have been sometime around 9 and 10 am+ local time.
I don't know where he setup to launch in what was an east to southeast wind but the time required to understand what was happening, decide what to do about it and actually do it before impact was likely very short.
He was apparently lofted into the four story house suffering major injury. Emergency personal reportedly found him on the east side of the house. News reports say his spine was broken. His kite ended up on the far west side of the house, hanging below the roof line. He was airlifted out by helicopter to the local hospital where he later passed.
He was a well liked and known local kiter who will be missed, RIP. I feel particularly sorry and concerned for his young children. A fund raiser for them will likely be started soon.
- Avoid squalls, don't launch into them, failing that, depower fully, well before they arrive. The gusty winds can hammer in so fast as to defy reaction in time. - Do proper weather planning checking wx warnings, radar/satellite imagery and upweather wind while monitoring changes at the beach, always.
- Make sure you're close to 100% healthy when kiting. If in doubt, don't go out.
- No session is worth the rest of your life. Be conservative, even if you have to force yourself a bit. Even experienced kiters, sometimes extremely experienced ones are undone in squalls/thunderstorms.
- Lots more squalls to come with tropical weather season in the region. Please look out for yourselves.
Last edited by RickI
on Thu Aug 26, 2021 3:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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- rnelias (Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:50 am) • iriejohn (Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:19 pm)