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Old 06-26-2005, 05:38 AM
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Default Fatality In Utah, USA

I regret to report that a kiteboarder was killed as a result of powerful winds from a microburst in Utah yesterday. My sincere regrets go out to this man's family and friends.

The following is reposted from:
http://utahwindriders.org/


"My deepest sympathy goes out to Mitch's family and friends and all his kiteboarding friends in the community. It really hurst me to post this news of what happened. I really didn't want to but Jake thought that it would be a good idea, to give the community some idea of what happened. Sorry if my words are a bit messed up, I a little shaken up right now, but I'll try to relate what I have seen. I hope that I don't offend anyone with this.

Jake Buzainas, Spencer (me), Nate (a friend I was training today) and Peter (a beginner kiteboarder), went out to Rush today around 1:30 or 2pm. The wind was light but picked up enough for Jake to ride his 15M on his wakesurf. Jake road 30-45 min session. Peter road his 13 or 15m, but not quite enough wind, he came in. I went out at about 2:45pm on a 13M and road for about 20-30 minute session fairly powered. A local police truck arrived about 3pm. Mitch arrived right behind them, by himself. I came in from riding about 5 minutes later. Mitch setup his kite, I had a talk with the Police, they said that they just came down to watch us ride for a bit. Jake was packing his kites up and was headed out. Before Jake left, he talked to me and apparently Mitch, about a microburst that may be hitting soon and to watch out. I have riden there along with Jake, Mitch and many of you during these microbursts, and during the bad ones I have always had to dump the kite before it really hits.
The Wind was relatively steady and I think that Mitch had his 13m slingshot i think which seemed about right for the wind. About 3:10 or so Mitch had his gear setup, he was really pumped to ride. I launch him. He went off riding having a good time. I then went, and set me friend Nate up, for a launch on my 12m. This was about 5-10 minutes later. I setup my friend Nate and the wind really started to pickup, he wasn't getting teabaged yet, but there was a lot of upward force. He road for only about 1 minute, and got teabagged in hops of 5-10 feet high, due to a lot more wind and lack of experience. I then looked behind me at the front that had been pushing in from the south. We had seen some lighting and the rain but, it was probably about 15 to 20 miles off. I then saw the dust start to pick up to the south. I knew that the microburst was going to hit in a few minutes, as I had seen this happen several times before. I told Nate to release his kite which he did. I went over and collected the kite in the water about 200 feet from shore. I had noticed Mitch still riding upwind of us and the main launch point, several times. He had his kite low, but seemed to be managing it well. The dust was starting to fly at this point. Mitch was maybe a couple hundred yards upwind (south) of me. I'm not sure if he ever saw the microburst coming. I start waving and yellin franticly and point behind him, to look, I'm not sure if he saw me. He was probably about 200 feet off shore, but he went for another pass to the east. I turned my attention back to my kite and my friend and was walking it into shore and back up to him. That's when the gusts really started to hit. Harder than I have ever felt there. I was running through the water and passed my kite off to Nate, I looked over my shoulder and new Mitch was in trouble. He was massively overpowered, nearer to the east side of rush about the same north south as the launch area. I saw his kite at 12 noon and thought that he was going to release at this point. He was lofted seconds later, probably 50-75 ft maybe more and flew about 200-300 ft. He was really picking up speed, but seemed in control, as he was flying the kite down. He had already lost his board. He hit the water moving at about 40 mph, i would guess. His kite was still straight up and I thought that he would release at this point. his hands were still on the bar. He got lofted a second time bigger the second time and faster. He flew it down again, but he was moving really fast. He hit and I think that he was knock out at that point, his head didn't come up. His kite went down low on the water and was pulling him very slow, I thought that I could make it too him, so i started to run swim through the water. I had only made it about 100 feet when his kite launch again and he was lofted several times to the north north east. I knew that the only chance was the Police on the shore, who I think were not sure if he was in trouble or not. I yelled and signalled at Peter who was on the shore and at the Police, Peter yelled and signalled them to head down wind. They took off immediately. Nate and I raced for shore where we dumped all the gear with Peter on the down wind of my truck for some protection He had to jump on it to hold it all down wind. The wind was blasting at this time. Nate and I hopped in Mitches Van and headed after the police down the lake frontage dirt road. When we arrive the police had cut his lines and had called in EMT's, Lifeflight, everything. The police had Nate and I fill out reports. I won't relate any specific details at this point, other that I know that he was not concious after that second major loft. The accident occured approx. 3:30pm give or take. About 5-10 minutes after we arrived at the accident site the first EMT arrived and started to work on Mitch. I helped where I could. Nate headed back to get Peter. Over the next 20 minutes about 7-10 emergency vehicles arrived and also Life flight (who were called off as they just arrived). They all worked on him for 1/2 hour or more. It really hurts to relate this, and I wish I would not have been there, or could have done something more to help him. Mitch passed away.

Mitch seemed to me to always have the most energy, the most stoke out there. He always made me laugh when I saw him flying out there just on the edge of control. Mitch was a great guy and helped me several times with my gear and suggestion with kiting. I was always impressed with him helping his friends and teaching them. Even though I only new him in the kite world, I along with many of us will miss him.

-Spencer"


More comments about this sad accident appear at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=234323
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:42 AM
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Microbursts can be very bad and it can be hard to come out of them without serious injury if you have a kite up. I think I was hit by one five years ago and it almost took me out and easly could have if things had been a bit different.

The windspeeds that Bursts can generate can cause catastrophic lofting. Such loftings are more rare than the less spectacular variety. There are lessor loftings/dragging in smaller gusts that can cause severe injury. We need to be aware of and watchout for unstable, excessively gusty wind in general. Know your local weather, what to look for in forecasts, radar, realtime wind records, etc. and while you are out on the water.

If despite your best precautions to avoid launching with such weather pending, you see signs of unstable weather moving in, depower early. Even if you have to do it on the water with your kite depowered and unhooked and swim in, so be it. I would not like to be around or attached to lines attached to a kite even one on the water if the winds boost to 50 to 170 mph.

Ideas about general precautions at:
http://fksa.org/viewtopic.php?t=776

More about weather at:
http://fksa.org/viewtopic.php?t=579

http://fksa.org/viewforum.php?f=25
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:42 AM
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More about microbursts at (including the above images):

http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/svr/comp/out/micro/home.rxml

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/tg/w...t/wmcrbrst.htm

http://cimms.ou.edu/~doswell/microbursts/Handbook.html
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:57 AM
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A more recent article.

http://thevane.gawker.com/explaining...s-w-1643929336
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