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Old 08-19-2008, 02:04 PM
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Exclamation WHAT WENT WRONG? - Summary Of Ft. Lauderdale Lofting & Videos


From: http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/

A satellite image of Tropical Storm Fay approaching Florida at about 2 pm, Tuesday, August 18, 2008. It was working on strengthening into a hurricane which fortunately did not come about. You can see the cyclonic counter clockwise cloud rotation and feeder bands extending to the south over Cuba. The feeder bands or zones of convection are frequently associated with violent cumulonimbus clouds, supercells, bursts and other forms of severe weather. The fragmentary "eye or center of rotation appears to the southwest. "X" marks the approximate location of the events to follow.

Tropical Storm Fay was well publicized to strike South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, August 18 and 19, 2008. High winds were widely forecast with gusts on the order of 40 to 60 kts. in abundant squalls lines in feeder bands that were obvious on radar, satellite images and to the naked eye (see radar images). Weather hazard alerts were being broadcast through all media on a regular basis and were more than obvious to experienced watermen. Many kiteboarders looked at forecasts and conditions and said no way they were going out in these hazardous conditions. High winds, erratic wind changes, lightning, lulls are commonly known to pose serious hazards to kiteboarders in such squalls. Most kiters in the area hadn't been kiting in about a month and half due to seasonal light winds. Unfortunately, not all kiteboarders came to this same sensible conclusion that Monday.


A radar image of South Florida and Tropical Storm Fay at 5 pm showing the counter clockwise rotation of feeder bands.

At about 5 pm, Monday a dark squall was moving in from the southeast into Ft. Lauderdale Beach, FL, USA. Visibility was about 2 to 3 miles with frequent rain showers and passing clouds. This particularly squall was lead by a zone of white water or intense rain showers. Squall lines had been clocked at traveling 60 mph or a mile a minute that day related to Fay. So, by the time the squall was seen, it might arrive in less than 3 minutes with powerful winds from the gust front perhaps arriving even before that. In effect faster than anyone might be able to come in and secure in some cases, you have no time.


Radar images from: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/
An intense squall denoted in red is firing axially into the beach at Ft. Lauderdale beside the "X" Such squall lines are frequently associated with very high wind gusts, microbursts, tornados, hail and lightning. Not sure but those curved red archs may be "bow echos" indicative of microbursts. Microburst can generate wind up to 170 mph over a 2 mile radius.



A satellite oblique image looking eastward over the area. The two kiteboarders were in the vicinity of the "X" while the news cameraman was near the "P"

Two kiteboarders had just landed on the beach and had their kites low waiting for guys to grab and secure their kites. The winds had been around 16 kts. with one of the two kiters underpowered on his 9 m kite. They had come in to avoid the squall but arrived too late to escape its impact. While they were standing there squall winds hit with wind speeds approximated at 40 to 50 kts. Torrential rain also started.


From: http://www.ikitesurf.com/
The wind plot is truncated at 5 pm from a station on the Dania Beach Pier four miles to the south. Winds were estimated by experienced observers at the site to gust to approximately 40 to 50 kts.. This is a common occurrence in sudden gusts with the actually velocity being substantially higher. At around 5 pm, the wind lulled to less than 10 kts. and explosively gusted to perhaps 50 kts.. Such wind patterns are not uncommon in tropical system and cold front squalls in this area.



Another wind graph from about 1.9 miles south and perhaps 1.25 miles inland in Pt. Everglades. This shows a gust to around 40 kt. but is likely influenced by wind shadow and distance from the accident scene.


Four guys were running to secure the two kites. One of the kiters sat down extended his legs against the pull and forced his kite into the ground. He was flying a 2009 9 m C kite and was dragged about 30 ft. through the sand. At one point the kite was folded in half by the combined wind force and pressure applied by the kiter to hold the kite in place. Hobie Cat sailboats were immediately downwind of his kite and likely to catch the kite if the dragging continued to that point. His kite was grabbed and secured. You can see this kite behind or to the south in the news video.


** Several video clips of the accident appear HERE



The other kiter was standing about 20 ft. further north and southeast of the SE corner of the wooden deck where the news cameraman was located. The kiter to the north kept yelling to the kiteboarder "keep your kite down" over and over again. Despite this sound advice, the southern kiter may have panicked perhaps when dragging started, as he suddenly brought his kite up from the horizontal well off the ground, initiating a lofting* in the strong winds. He ran inland for about 15 ft. before being lofted. His option for Emergency Depowering may have largely ended after that point given the speed and violence at which things progressed from that point onward. Guys were likely seconds from grabbing his kite but it flew up and away from them. He was lofted a distance of about 100 ft. north in the gust. He must have applied pressure to the right side of his control bar causing what appeared to be a kiteloop as he was flown downwind to the northwest. He struck and was dragged through the sand and then lofted again as shown in the video. One observer said the speed of flight exceeded that which he has seen in high wind kiteloops. The kiterboarder flew roughly 275 ft. horizontally and about 20 to 25 ft. high over parked cars falling into A1A. This intermediate landing did not show up in the news video clip. He was lofted a third time about 40 ft. into an alley between a restaurant and mid rise condominium building. He was seen to hold on to his bar throughout the accident with both hands and made no attempt to Emergency Depower the kite. He struck the pavement and perhaps the south building wall of the condo.


Another kiter saw what happened and sprinted across the street in driving rain, poor visibility indicated in the video to aid the kiteboarder. The lofted kiter was lost to view so the responding man ran through the restaurant and around the building furiously trying to locate the lofted kiter. He found the man lying in the alley in seconds. The responding kiter immediately disconnected the man's quick release disconnecting his kite. The man was flying a 9 m flat kite. There was a tremendous quantity of blood around the man. He was unconscious but quivering. The man had two ragged holes in his knees, a bad laceration to his forehead, broken ribs and perhaps other undesignated injuries. He started to moan and come around but was delusional and started to say over and over again, "Let me go home, I don't want to kite anymore." He tried to get up with substantial strength while several first responders held him motionless in place. Emergency services were on the scene in force in an amazingly short period of time. The man is in his mid 20's, about 160 lbs. and has about 4 to 5 years kiteboarding experience and was self-taught. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital and from what information is available is predicted to recover.


* lofting - involuntarily being lifted by the kite in a gust and being blown downwind

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Last edited by RickI; 09-05-2008 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:33 PM
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The kiteboarder is amazingly lucky to be alive. Looking at the high velocity of his lofting and head first flight, likely impact against pavement and/or the building it is miraculous that he isn't far more grievously injured than reported. He wore no safety gear reportedly such as a helmet or impact vest that might ease the trauma of limited impacts. Such simple aids have made the difference in survival and lessening injuries in some kiteboarding loftings in the past. Despite this the, use of this simple safety gear is far from the norm currently. Helmets never were used at one time in football, these things take time unfortunately.

Responsible kiteboarders would not have been out in an area of such violent, abundant and closely spaced squalls. Unfortunately, in these early days of the sport not all participants acknowledge the severity of these hazards yet. They discount the hazard if they even consider it at all and every once in a while one is injured or sometimes even killed as a penalty for this indifference.

Such meteorological hazards are fairly easily avoided through proper Weather Planning and Monitoring. The odds of being surprised by powerful gusty wind is substantially diminished with such procedures. Risk isn't removed but when is that the case in life? Not doing proper Weather Planning and Monitoring in the face of changing weather is foolish in the extreme. It is akin to flying cross state in summer through major thunderstorms and never bothering to look at forecasts or radar. People just don't do it.

The goal is to AVOID the crisis and not attempt to correctly react once you are buried in the thick of it. Avoiding such weather crises is fairly easy to do. Reacting in the face of an emergency always has an uncertain outcome. AN IMPORTANT new free reference in Kiteboarding Weather Planning & Monitoring is ONLINE NOW H E R E. I encourage everyone to read over it carefully and strive to avoid weather problems.

People also need to make Emergency procedures second nature in this sport. The time to try (and likely fail) to figure out what to do in an emergency is not while it is underway. Simple procedures exist, have been designed into gear and proper kiteboarding instruction. Kiteboarders need to thoroughly acquaint themselves with these procedures, visualize various emergency scenarios and practice them both physically and mentally until they are burned into your awareness. Holding on to your control bar in shocked amazement as you are blown across the sky and into the landscape at high speed is not a viable option. It is the response of fools and victims, core kiteboarders should not identify with these roles, right? They should know what to do and DO IT early.

Responsible kiteboarders ride for MILLIONS OF HOURS each year without incident or injury. We all need to pursue this as a hard goal. The days of yarding ourselves into harsh collisions with reality due to obvious squalls needs to vanish with a vengeance.

Best wishes for a rapid, complete recovery to this kiteboarder.

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transcribed by:
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Last edited by RickI; 08-19-2008 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:12 PM
BigJmack BigJmack is offline
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I found this on another site (I don't know this guy)


THIS IS MY FRIEND FROM PENN STATE!

This morning, we talked about the video at work, and since someone else in my office meet Kevin before, we LOL about it, saying it was probably him.

Well.. 20 minutes ago I found out it was!! I will post of few pics of him if you all want.. I got this via email from one of his frat bros:

Health Status:
Stable; induced coma; unknown future

-Swelling in the brain (sub-something type of bleed)
-2-3 days analysis before we know more (CT Scan scheduled for today)
-26 stitches from center of eyebrow into scalp -Highest Rib broken -Broken Ankle -Possible Muscle Contusion in the back between Spine and Supporting Bones -Abrasions everywhere -Little Amnesia - EMT said its normal for head injuries like this. When he starts to come out of the induced coma he becomes a little combative - he's closterphobic/ doesn't know where he is
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:40 PM
davewolfs davewolfs is offline
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Other then the obvious of not kite surfing in conditions like this, what should someone do when in this type of situation? Can the kite even be released when being hurtled at this type of speed?
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davewolfs View Post
Other then the obvious of not kite surfing in conditions like this, what should someone do when in this type of situation? Can the kite even be released when being hurtled at this type of speed?
YES, lots of things can be done.

CRITICALLY, the best solution is to never volunteer to enter the crisis in the first place through proper Weather Planning and Monitoring (CLICK).

Failing that, physically practicing Emergency Depowering (pushing the bar all the way out or dropping it if recommended by the manufacturer with flat kites or dropping it to the leash with C kites) and mentally visualizing what you would do in response to x,y,z ROUTINELY. Touching your QR several times a session and thinking about what if can also combat brain freeze.

The time to Emergency Depower is well BEFORE any change in wind speed or temperature. Think kill the power NOT let's try to fly out of this. With a proper downwind buffer there is no reason not to do this.

If you mega screw up and you're lofted, yes, you can usually free fall to earth. Shannon Best did this in a summer squall in Delray as did another kiter not a 100 ft. from the site of this accident in the last two years in another squall. I would have from 30 ft. up but was lofted years before reliable QRs existed and my chicken loop was twisted on hard as a rock on my harness hook. I was in for the complete ride. Today, there is NO need to do this to yourself or others or our sport!
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Last edited by RickI; 08-19-2008 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:37 PM
WindRyder WindRyder is offline
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Thanks, Rick, for keeping us updated. Fay looks like she will be visiting every area of our state. Weird how the weather patterns are working to move the storm the way it is projected to.
I hope that Kevin is able to make a full recovery.
We can only be thankful that no one else was hurt during this incident.....a car accident on A1A, kite/lines tangled around bystanders, etc.....
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default man that just looked so crazy

hey rick ..watching the vid and reading all of the info you put up jst freak me right out,
I hope that the dude lives and heals to ride another day..
if he does not get to ride again,I hope he just lives and heals.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:55 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Just want to take a moment to commend Rick and the effort that he puts into this website. He is a leader in kite safety/education and I look forward to meeting him one day. I send all my students here to read about past accidents and to educate themselves regarding weather patterns and human patterns as well. Rick has found an incredible tool of communication for our sport. I am sure we will continue to learn from these events, but like he said, it will take time. As unfortunate as this accident is, hopefully it will prevent more in the future.

If you haven't seen Riding Giants, it is a must see for any serious waterman and an incredible story about taking risks. Even the best of the best can perrish doing what they love, but the bottom line is it is still a tragedy. It can shake you up, and make you think twice.

Thank you Rick for your continued service to FKSA.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:10 PM
greg meintjes greg meintjes is offline
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Default summary of Ft Lauderdale lofting & videos

When you look at the video, there were a few other kites on the beach, which I find amazing because conditions were forecast to be dangerous throughout the day this is scary in that so many other people also showed total disregard for theirs and other persons safety as well as any ramiffications from their actions.I am also wondering if anybody actualy took the initiative and tried to dissuade any of the riders from launching their kites.

Greg
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:20 PM
davewolfs davewolfs is offline
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So based on the speed that he was flying if he had simply pushed the bar out the kite would have given up? Sorry for my ignorance but I am an amateur who is looking to get into this sport, I've never used any of this equipment aside from a training kite and this video simply scares me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI View Post
YES, lots of things can be done.

CRITICALLY, the best solution is to never volunteer to enter the crisis in the first place through proper Weather Planning and Monitoring (CLICK).

Failing that, physically practicing Emergency Depowering (pushing the bar all the way out or dropping it if recommended by the manufacturer with flat kites or dropping it to the leash with C kites) and mentally visualizing what you would do in response to x,y,z ROUTINELY. Touching your QR several times a session and thinking about what if can also combat brain freeze.

The time to Emergency Depower is well BEFORE any change in wind speed or temperature. Think kill the power NOT let's try to fly out of this. With a proper downwind buffer there is no reason not to do this.

If you mega screw up and you're lofted, yes, you can usually free fall to earth. Shannon Best did this in a summer squall in Delray as did another kiter not a 100 ft. from the site of this accident in the last two years in another squall. I would have from 30 ft. up but was lofted years before reliable QRs existed and my chicken loop was twisted on hard as a rock on my harness hook. I was in for the complete ride. Today, there is NO need to do this to yourself or others or our sport!
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