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Old 06-16-2007, 08:36 AM
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Unhappy Kitesurfer crashes into cliff, dies at Panther Beach

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6144414

Kitesurfer crashes into cliff, dies at Panther Beach
By Jennifer Squires

MediaNews

Article Launched: 06/14/2007 08:16:16 PM PDT



NORTH COAST - A kitesurfer practicing on the beach died Thursday afternoon when the wind dragged him across the sand into the side of a cliff at Panther Beach.

The 18-year-old man was out with a group of friends when the accident happened around 3:40 p.m., according to officials.

"He hit the rocks and he fell back on his head," California Fire Capt. Deborah Daly said.

The kitesurfer was unconscious and not breathing when emergency crews arrived. A bystander began performing CPR, according to State Parks supervising ranger Bill Wolcott, but the man was declared dead at the beach.

"He was not in the water. He was on the beach practicing with his kitesurfing equipment," Wolcott said.

The Coroner's Office has not released the man's identity, pending notification of his family.

State Parks lifeguards have rescued several people from Santa Cruz County waters this week.

Two women swimming at Manresa State Beach in South County ran into trouble on Tuesday evening and one had to be helped in by an Aptos/La Selva firefighter. On Monday, a man walking on the rocks at Panther beach was swept into the ocean and had to be rescued.

"It's been a busy week - hot weather and a lot of people are out," Wolcott said.
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:41 AM
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http://www.nbc11.com/news/13511345/detail.html
http://www.ktvu.com/news/13511506/detail.html#
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:03 PM
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poor guy...
thats the problem when you come with your kite vertically in the sky and come to land to switch boards or just hang out.
Keep your kite low and go!
my condolences to his family.
-Danny
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:45 PM
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Default (Keep your kite low and go!)

And Never Hook Yourself In While On The Beach Or Launching, I've had a bad experience while on the beach and hooked in. It only takes one strong gust to be off your feet.
I also give my condolences to the family and friends.
Kyle
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:56 PM
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Some more details have been released in a newspaper account:

Adventurous teen dies kitesurfing FAMILY, FRIENDS MOURN LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE AND HIS `BIG SPIRIT'

By Mike Swift
Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:06/17/2007 01:33:55 AM PDT


Last Saturday, a group of kids in the Main Street Singers at Los Altos High School got together after their last concert together. For many, graduation - and the start of the rest of their lives - was just a few days away. Graduating senior Derek Abraham stood up among his friends and said that "his experience with his singing had taught him to think with his heart," remembered his choir director, Mark Andrew Shaull, "and he looked forward to thinking with his heart for the rest of his life."

Those poignant words will echo hauntingly for many who knew Derek, who died Thursday, just two days after his graduation from Los Altos High School. The 18-year-old was kitesurfing off a Santa Cruz County beach, when the wind grabbed his kite and slammed him against a rocky cliff.

As a kitesurfer who was just learning the sport, Derek may have misjudged his landing and was unable to prevent the wind from hurling him against the cliff with tremendous force, said friends who witnessed the accident. A friend, who was among seven friends at the beach that day, tried to resuscitate Derek, but even after paramedics arrived, there was nothing they could do. Relatives and friends believe the young man died from a head injury, but the results of an autopsy are not yet known.

For all Derek's accomplishments - Eagle Scout, member of four of the six choral groups at Los Altos High, member of the wrestling team, trumpeter in the marching and jazz bands, backpacker and just general adventurer - what people remembered most was how he made them feel: His smile conveyed a sense of adventure that seemed to spill out of him.
One grieving classmate described Derek as one who saw life in full color. She wrote that sentiment on a tie-dyed armband she made in his remembrance.

Best friend to many

At a session with grief counselors attended by up to 80 people at the high school Friday, Gordon Abraham was struck by how many people said Derek had touched their lives, welcoming newcomers into marching band, or just infecting them with his enthusiasm.

"I knew he had a lot of friends, I just didn't know how many," said Gordon Abraham, Derek's father. "All these kids were coming up to me and saying, `Derek was my best friend,' and I just said, `Wow.'"
"He was extraordinary," said Jocelyn Lambert, 18, a close friend at Los Altos High who was in the Main Street Singers with Derek and was on the beach on Thursday. "He was a risk taker. They say this about a lot of people, but he lived life to the fullest in every way possible."
"I saw him unhappy only once, and that was on the last day of our choir tour," after the group returned this year from a tour of Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, a trip that bonded the singers, she said.
"You knew," said Ricky Wagner, one of the friends who fought to save Derek's life Thursday, "that he had your back."

Having already completed all requirements for his Eagle Scout badge, a presentation ceremony was already planned for June 30. He was eager to start college at the University of CaliforniaSanta Cruz in the fall, where he was interested in studying marine sciences - though he not decided on a major.

A memorial service will be held in the next few weeks, but a specific date has not been chosen.

No regrets

Although he spent a few years as a young child living in Denmark, Derek spent most of his life in Los Altos, attending public schools. He always had a lot of energy, Gordon Abraham said, so much so that he didn't much like being hugged as a child, perhaps because he felt too contained.
But about two years ago, something changed. Derek began to hug his parents when he would come home.

"We have no regrets," Gordon Abraham said. "He knew we loved him. We knew he loved us."

Kitesurfing, in which a kite pulls a rider on a small surfboard through the water, was a new sport for Derek, his father said. He had been learning the sport with a smaller practice kite, but on the day of the accident, on the water off Panther Beach, north of Santa Cruz, there was a lot of wind. Derek had been looking forward to that day on the beach for weeks, Lambert said. The friends planned a bonfire when they were done kitesurfing.

"He was so confident in his abilities," said his friend Nick Lee, who had ridden the kite just before Derek and helped him into his gear. "His last words were, `I got this.' "

When his friends looked out at the kitesurfer, just before the wind took him, they saw something familiar.

"He had this huge smile on his face," his father said.


Contact Mike Swift at mswift@mercurynews.com or (408) 271-3648.


http://www.mercurynews.com/localnews...nes/ci_6162764
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2007, 09:10 PM
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scary stuff

Panther beach has two big cliffs on both North and south ends


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Old 06-19-2007, 04:20 PM
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gnarley
with bow or flat kites you should stay hooked in depowerd ,( sorry to disagree)
when I'm walking with the kite or just standing there I never leave it at 12 because a gust can make ya kite back wind and drop.
(and then mabe launch dead down wind and that hurts)
the safest place to leave it is 11 or 1.
if ya walking with it hold it low in the wind window like 3 or 9 that way you can drop it straight into the water and there is less wind window to make mistakes with.
only bring the kite to 12 when your about to put your board on.
don't be shy ask for help if you need it.
my condolences to the family
aj
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