I have been recently updating my records of shark attack/incidents involving kiters to pass along requested information to the International Shark Attack File. Still in the middle of it and am not in a position to put out a updated summary but should be able to soon.
As has been the case since the start of our sport, kiter shark attacks/incidents are FAR less common than high wind/thunderstorm related accidents and fatalities. So, use good procedures and common sense to try to avoid negative shark encounters but the far more common threat, at times a fatal one, involves excessive wind gusts/lulls, thunderstorms and the like for kiters.
In general, kiters on plane have had shark incidents far more rarely than kiters in the water. Many sharks could easily overtake and strike kiters at typical planing speed but for whatever reason, fortunately, rarely do so. They have struck boats and kayaks at times, so I wouldn't get too comfortable. There is only one incident that comes to mind in South Africa in the early 2000's potentially involving a mako shark striking a kiters board while planning. There may have been others of course that I haven't heard about.
Most kiter shark incidents and attacks have happened while the kiter has been in the water. This involves common elements with much more frequent bather and surfer attacks. To my knowledge, two kiter fatalities (Stuart, FL, New Caledonia), from shark attack happened or may have been likely to have happened when the kiter was in the water. There may have been a third attack which resulted in a fatality but I am still trying to learn more about that and confirm what may have happened. Sharks may often bite and run. As a generality with all shark attacks, if the bite is in a vulnerable area, the shark is particularly large and/or proper medical care is delayed, death may result from blood loss, trauma and related factors. Most shark attacks are non-fatal as a result involving humans.
There have been more non-fatal shark attacks and incidents involving kiters. Which shouldn't be a surprise considering the amount of time we spend in the water and the large quantity of sharks which may (or may no longer in some cases?), be present. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of sharks in my area for instance perhaps unlike some others. Despite that, kiter attacks and incidents are still rare and less common than wind-related accidents (a few dozen shark bite encounters vs. hundreds of wind injury accidents?). I am still back checking records but there have perhaps been less than two to three dozen shark encounters in which they bit something, the kiter or his board, worldwide, since 1998. The potential for a negative encounter is always there of course, things just don't work out that way for kiters most of the time fortunately. Swimmers, surfers and divers are attacked more commonly than we are.
Some ideas on how to try to avoid negative shark encounters for kiters are discussed at: viewtopic.php?t=2338191&p=688328
If you have heard of other confirmed kiter attacks/fatalities I would like to learn about them, here, or by email to flkitesurfer at hotmail.com or by PM to ricki.