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Old 08-27-2010, 06:19 AM
Pedro Pedro is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 33
Default Kitesurfer dies in Boca Grande, Aruba on 24th August

Just got back from kiting in Aruba for a few days. On my first full day of kiting (last Tuesday, 24th August) a local high school teacher died while kiting late in the afternoon in Boca Grande, east side of the island.

I kited all afternoon with Dario and Maria and we were the only ones there. Around 4pm about 6-7 locals showed up to kite. I left around 5pm to pick up the friends I shared lodging. The next day, I kited in Boca Grande all afternoon again. When Dario showed up he told me that minutes after I left he saw a kiter get pulled out of the water. When he tacked towards the scene he just said, "the guy looked green and had a lot of blood coming out of his head, top of his ear". Next thing you know police/ambulances showed up and they are trying to revive the guy, but he eventually passed.

It's been hard to get information on the incident via the local media. All I've been able to find is

It's in papiamento, so a bit hard to figure out. Although I can make out a few words because there is a lot of Spanish in papiamento. What I gather is that the kiter's name was Ronald Jan Izaac van Doorn, born in Holland on 02/08/66. He was a local high school teacher, surfer, kiter, scuba instructor, water polo instructor, etc. Clearly he was loved by his students from all the posts received in the aforementioned link.

The article speculates that the drowning death may have been caused by head trauma from landing near the reefs. From the pictures, the body was attended near the southern tip of that kite spot which is full of rocks. I can definitely see a bad landing going wrong in that area. When you are tacking in that area, one moment it's 15 feet deep and all of a sudden there are giant rocks 1 ft. below the surface of the water. It can be deceiving in the late hours of the day because that blue water gets dark fast.

The authorities decided not to perform an autopsy so as to get the body to his family as soon as possible. Was hoping to get more information on the accident and see if there is a lesson for all of us. In any case, Rest in Peace Ronald.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:44 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691

My sincere condolences go out to Ronald's family, friends and students. It is a rough thing on a small island.

Thank you for posting this Pedro. I hadn't seen any details regarding this sad accident. I found another article in papiamentu as well at:

I tried Internet Papiamentu and Spanish translators with limited results. It would be good to know if there is additional information in this account.

Yes, Boca Grande is pretty much encompassed by rock particularly to the north and south with sand along the shoreline. At low tide it would be easy to pitch over and hit something going north. As you say the water shoals rapidly into the reef to the south and southeast. Does anyone know what wind conditions were like? Looking at ikitesurf, they looked like normal trades around 20 mph east or onshore.
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