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RickI 01-15-2015 11:11 AM

Kiteboarder Injured By Spinner Shark In PBC (2012)
I just came across news of this accident from 2012 during the blacktip shark migration. He was on a 20 mile downwinder heading south
from Singer Island. He was about a 100 yards off the beach near the Palm Beach Inlet when he collided with the shark, more accurately,
the shark's teeth? He indicated he had noticed a group of about 20 sharks in the area prior to the encounter. It looks like it was a pretty
small shark fortunately and one that didn't come back for seconds. He had some connective tissue damage and ended up having
heart surgery as a consequence of the accident. A minor accident ended up having more serious overtones as a result. More about that
in the links below.

"Kiteboarder Meets Shark Near Singer Island Florida: Mostly Happy Ending.

I get lots of email from people who encounter various potentially dangerous marine life. Today I got an email from Jason Lasser, who
was kiteboarding yesterday in South Florida and found his foot in contact with the mouth of a Spinner shark.

Jason had “…just started a downwinder from Singer Island, crossing the Palm Beach inlet, and collided with a spinner shark.”

His foot was lacerated and required surgery to repair nerves, tendons and an open wound (below)."

Continued at:

More at:

All three relatively recent kiteboarder shark accidents happened with spinner or blacktip sharks visible in the vicinity. There were two
other attacks for which there is less information in the early 2000's in Martin County, also during the migration. The three attacks in
recent times happened on Feb. 3, 2010 (fatal), Feb, 27, 2012 (minor injury) and March 22, 2014 (minor injury).

Moral: If you ride in a shark migration, you should expect a higher chance of being bitten. It only stands to reason after all. The apparent reasons
and severity of the rare accidents (to date), will vary. A kiter has been killed in the South Florida migration while others have suffered relatively
minor lacerations.

The vicinity of the encounter:


RickI 01-16-2015 06:56 AM

A question came up on a similar threat about kiting off Ft. Myers in February. This is what I wrote:


Originally Posted by RickI
The shark thing although quite interesting is far from the most likely problem we face while kiting. Tens of thousands of kiters hours pass each year throughout Florida with no negative shark encounters at all. I recall six encounters in Florida which involved bites including one fatality since 1998. One bite happened off Key West while the rest that I have heard about involving kiters occurred between Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties. Surfer/bather reports are more widespread to other parts of Florida as well. Kiting accidents related to thunderstorms, wind direction changes, lack of distance, adverse currents, poor preflighting, wind shadow, etc. are far more common threats and deserving of particular focus and caution.

Trying to reduce the odds of negative kiter shark encounters, as rare as they can be in Florida, doesn't take that that much effort, more paying attention and common sense. Shark threats and precautions may differ in other parts of the world, i.e. Ft. Myers vs. a seal rookery in white shark territory someplace else. We do have white sharks but they are rare and seals, a favorite food and attractant, have largely have been gone for centuries from the Caribbean. If a large shark migration is on and sharks, or signs of actively worked fish schools such as diving birds, jumping fish are visible in the vicinity, you might consider not kiting in that area. Shark migrations usually accompany other fish migrations such as mackerel migrations in SW Florida in the spring. This doesn't remove the already remote possibility of a serious negative kiter interaction but just drops the low odds, further. Negative encounters can occur without a migration of course. What negative encounters I have heard about in Florida waters have usually happened when the kiter is off plane and in the water, like surfers and swimmers who more commonly have problems. People have kited in migrations for years and haven't been bitten, some have been however. I used to kite in visible migrations myself as well years back but don't do this any longer. The sharks can make runs on kiters with transitions, etc. without their knowledge that can show up with overhead cameras and more recently from foilboards. The kiter may fall, a frequent event, our smaller sharks may strike and ideally "say yuck, human" and hopefully move on. The tasting and ideally rejection part can be painful and best avoided, again if you can through common sense. Sharks are fairly common off Florida but for whatever reasons, kiter attacks are rare. I caught one on my kite camera in a SKORD Mount last month off Pompano by the inlet, he slowly moved in my direction but lost interest as I moved offshore. I have accepted that sharks are likely present when I am in the ocean particularly near inlets but rarely seen for over 40 years.


I didn't even know this guy was there until I saw the photo. So it goes.

Some more ideas about sharks and trying to avoid negative encounters are discussed in:

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