FKA Kiteboarding Forums  

Go Back   FKA Kiteboarding Forums > General Discussion > Safer and Sustainable Kiting > Kiteboarding Articles, KSI And Reference Posts > KSI - a global listing of reported kiteboarding accidents and incidents
Connect with Facebook

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-10-2004, 03:45 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,258
Default Kitesurfing Safety Information Year 2003 - Vers. 9-9-03

Kitesurfing Safety Information Year 2003 - Vers. 9-9-03

b]PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING ...

TERMS OF USE: Access to and use of this information is restricted. This
resource is intended for the reading and private use by KITEBOARDERS
ONLY to improve safety. Use by other parties for any other purpose or
reproduction of portions or the entirety of this copyrighted document by
ANY PARTY, is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is
given by the owner. In proceeding below to review this document, the user
fully agrees to comply with these restrictions.
[/b]












KITEBOARDING SAFETY INFORMATION (KSI) Introduction

This collection of reported but largely unconfirmed kiteboarding accidents and incidents has been prepared with the goal of improving kiteboarding safety. It is intended to spread the lessons learned from these accounts. The accuracy of most of these accounts is not verified and as such they should not be considered so. Ideally, the reader should view these accounts as describing potential credible scenarios that could lead to injury. The rider should gather ideas and perspective on how to avoid similar accidents and incidents. Kiteboarding is a new and rapidly growing sport. Safety concepts and knowledge are still being learned and spread. It is a goal of this resource to aid that process where possible.

It is important to put the frequency of these reported accident and incident accounts in perspective. These few dozen reported incidents generally represent the extremes in this sport. They do not represent the perceived normal rider experience. All accounts over a three year period. Estimates vary, but in that three years roughly ten million or more hours may have been spent by riders kiteboarding worldwide. Surveys are in progress but for now this is a rough estimate. The vast majority of these hours are perceived as having been free from serious incidents or injury. These scenarios represent incidents that reportedly happened to a minority of riders and should not be taken as "normal" by any means. Similar statistics for verified bicycle, aircraft or automobile accidents would be vastly more shocking in terms of the high numbers of victims per year and dramatic injuries worldwide. This resource has been prepared to raise the state of awareness and to avoid accidents. The point is that these reported accidents and incidents could potentially occur to any rider in conditions similar to those described. As such, kiteboarding should be viewed as a potentially dangerous, extreme sport that deserves careful training, practice, preparation and judgment to be safely enjoyed. With the expansion of knowledge, use of appropriate caution and adoption of better safety and riding procedures these risks should be reduced substantially. We are all still learning about this sport and the hazards that may be out there.

Often the difference between a safe kiteboarding session or an injurious one is prior knowledge, appropriate safety gear, practice of procedures to avoid problems and careful, informed judgment. This resource is intended for the downloading, reading and private use of kiteboarders only. Use by other parties for any other purpose is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is given. This document is protected by copyright and reproduction of this document or portions thereof is prohibited without prior written approval of the owner.

Kiteboarding when undertaken in a responsible, informed fashion with proper professional training and preparation may be safer than other popular sports such as hang gliding, off-piste skiing, mixed gas scuba diving and many other pursuits. The preparation of this collection of stories is to improve common knowledge, awareness of threats to safety and questionable riding practices. The following examples will hopefully illustrate the potential costs of poor practices and judgment.

I want to express sincere thanks to Brett Gibson, founder of the Mid-Atlantic Kitesurfing Association, for proof reading and helping to revise this document. Also, I want to thank all the riders that have provided input that resulted in the creation of this resource. Constructive comments, suggestions, alternative views, credible eyewitness and particularly participant account information are always welcome and should be emailed to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com.

Table Of Contents Page

Introduction .................................................. ............................... 2
Table of Contents .................................................. ..................... 3
Organization .................................................. ............................. 4
Disclaimer .................................................. ................................. 4
Correlation of Accident/Incident Circumstances ......................... 5
New Accounts and Additional Information .................................. 5

Kiteboarding Account Summaries:
Year 2003 (Accounts 73 - 93 )
Year 2002 (Accounts 19 - 72 ) ............................. Separate File
Year 2001 (Accounts 6- 18) .................................. Separate File
Year 2000 (Accounts 1 - 5) ................................... Separate File


Organization

The accounts are divided into four sections, including:

General Information

This section provides an account number, date of the account, reported date of incident and location information. When possible, other reports of the account were sought and/or received from others. The number of these other reports is listed in this section. If information was received directly from the participant, it is noted in this section as well. Finally, if the information is described by a published internet account, the URL will be provided if it is known.

Summary

This section provides details that have been related without embellishment or comment. Despite attempts to verify the accounts, they should not be assumed to be verified. However, they may represent realistic but potentially hypothetical object lessons or scenarios for kiteboarders. Remembered and second party accounts may have errors and as such should not be assumed to be verified or necessarily to depict actual occurrences.

Lessons Learned

This section provides opinion regarding potential improved safety practices for kiteboarding derived from the experience related in the account. These “Lessons” may alter with time as new knowledge is gained and distributed in the sport. When new credible practices become known, they may be incorporated in updated versions of the accounts.

Commentary

This section provides opinions and specific observations based on the reported account. These comments are intended to discuss relationship to other incidents, trends, general precautions or other relevant topics.

Disclaimer

The account summaries listed in this resource may not be 100% accurate. Although accuracy is intended, it is not guaranteed in any fashion. No responsibility is assumed whatsoever for any errors, omissions, conclusions or consequences thereof. Attempts have been made in some cases to verify the accounts, but none of the account details should be considered to be confirmed or fully accurate by the information contained herein. Kiteboarding may potentially be practiced with reasonable safety with thorough training, current good practices, safety gear and by employing good judgment. This sport can be very dangerous if it is not approached with the level of care described. The same conclusion could apply to operating a car, bicycle or boat if the same lack of care as described was employed in these activities. These reports represent reported information and related opinions and are not intended to represent positions or opinions held by any organization or group. Other valid conclusions and procedures may be drawn from the information contained in this resource and will likely be drawn in the future as kiteboarding knowledge and safety technique is better understood. Participants are generally not identified by name, unless this identity is common knowledge or release is given. The goal of this resource is to impart lessons learned from the reported experiences of these individuals or likely scenarios and not to unduly embarrass or criticize the kiterboarders.

It is regretted that they have reportedly gone through these experiences. Sincere thanks are extended to them for helping to improve the safety of this sport with their accounts.
This resource is intended for the downloading, reading and private use of kiteboarders only. Use by other parties for any other purpose is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is given. This document is protected by copyright and reproduction of this document or portions thereof is prohibited without prior written approval.

Kiteboarding Account Summaries Year 2003
(CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED)


93. Incident # 6 03 4 "California Female Rider Seriously Injured" Location: Alameda, CA, USA
Date: July 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 3


Summary

A new female kiteboarder had been taking lessons and was out with a friend who was also taking lessons in light 10 to 12 mph onshore winds with a 12 m four line inflatable kite. She had attempted an assisted launch a few times without success. A passerby suggested that she check the rigging on the kite. Apparently, the new kiter rerigged the kite and launched again. She may have been hit by a wave at time of launch or have not properly reregged the kite. This time she was flung at speed forward a distance, colliding head first with a sand ledge or berm on the beach. She was knocked unconscious and into a coma. She remained in the coma for an extended period of time but eventually came out of it. About a month later she was still hospitalized but not yet fully lucid. She was not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Avoid onshore winds, particularly if you are a new kiter.
2. Preflight your gear and preflight again. Try to acquire "kook proof" or polar connectors to reduce the chances for rigging errors.
3. Never launch in a wave zone.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other appropriate safety gear.

Commentary

This is a very sad accident and underscores the need for all kiteboarders to follow reasonable practices during setup, preflighting, riding and landing. It is amazing that such a serious injury could occur in such light winds. Onshore winds statistically have a higher incidence of accidents and should be avoided. It is unknown whether a helmet would have reduced the serious head injury in the case or not. Of course if you don't where one the answer is academic and always the same. It simply doesn't matter after the accident has occurred. Some riders discount the chances of injury when riding around soft sand alone. This along with other accidents establishe that serious injury can occur even in sand.


92. Incident # 6 03 3 "Rider Dragged Into Rocks" Location: 34rd Avenue, Foster, CA
Date: July 18, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A rider was out with an unspecified kite, in unspecified winds. When asked what happened, the rider in the hospital after surgery and possibly under the influence of pain medication, said "his lines fell of the bar." It is possible that the riders kite stalled and created slack in his lines as he was walking towards a rock embankment downwind of him. The kite powered back up and dragged him into the rocks. The rider suffered serious injury including a broken leg and severely fractured knee.

Lessons learned

1. Few details were available about this accident.
2. Keeping an adequate downwind buffer zone would have likely avoided this accident.
3. Having a kite aloft with a pile of rocks nearby downwind is never a good idea.

Commentary

If anyone can provide additional details about this accident it would be appreciated. Distance can help forgive some errors in judgment along with a fair amount of bad luck. If you don't maintain a buffer zone there goes that option and impact is much closer than it might otherwise be.


91. Incident # 6 03 2 "Crossed Lines Injure Rider" Location: Stevenson, Oregon, USA
Date: June 23, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An experienced rider connected one of his back lines to the front of his kite and launched in undesignated winds. As a result he was dragged into the rocks at the base of the bluff. The rider suffered a broken arm, leg, extensive bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc. The rider was reportedly not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Preflight & Preflight Again. If strong winds are on, why not do it a third time?
2. Use polar or "kook proof" line connectors to reduce the chances for flight line connection errors.
3. Try to maintain an adequate buffer zone.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, etc.
5. Assisted launches are recommended with trained, experienced help. The helper should look down the lines towards the kiteboarder to verify proper line attachment. The kiteboarder should do the same from his end as a last check.

Commentary

There have been many rigging errors and resulting incidents, damaged gear and rider injuries from this simple mistake. It is very easy to make such a mistake however it is also easy to catch and correct this error. If stronger winds are present you will likely be dragged/lofted at high speed into a rapid, hard impact. The speed of this process will likely be faster than the rider can effectively pop his quick release and depower his kite. If you are careless during setup and preflighting you may well be closing your eyes to serious consequences and an avoidable injury one of these days.


90. Incident # 6 03 2 "Improper Leash Use Impales Rider's Foot" Location: Cabarete, DR
Date: June 9, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A kiteboarder decided to misuse his kite depowering leash as a board leash. The rider was first noticed nearshore with his kite in the air. Shortly after that point the kiteboarder landed his kite and proceeded to writher in agony. It turns out that the metal kite leash clip broke apart and flew back at the rider, impaling his heel.

Lessons learned

1. Board leashes are dangerous and the majority of kiteboarders can normally body drag to recover their board.
2. Misusing a kite leash as a too short, fixed board leash is a poor idea as supported by this accident.
3. All riders should master body dragging early in their kiteboarding training.

Commentary

Strong forces can routinely occur in kiteboarding. Such forces can readily cause material failure particularly in poorly maintained or misused hardware. The majority of riders would probably kiteboard more safely without board leashes. Please refer to some of the other accounts regarding board leash injuries for further comments on this problem.


89. Incident # 6 03 1 "Serious Australian Lofting" Location: Yarra Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Date: 6-7-03 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 0


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder was out with a 12 m Aero II kite in gusty, 17 kts. side onshore winds. He had made a few runs and has no real memory of the rest of the accident. The rest of this account is constructed from observer reports. The rider dropped his kite about 5 m from shore. He managed to relaunch the kite but was suddenly hit by a 33 kt. wind gust. He was lofted a few feet upward and flown at speed towards the beach. He hit the right side of his helmet against the sand beach. The accident happened with such speed he thought he wouldn't have had time to activate his quick release. The rider lost consciousness on impact. Someone flying a trainer kite nearby ran up and grabbed the injured riders kite. The rider was taken to hospital with a serious concussion, with initial symptoms of incoherence, talking gibberish, repeatedly asking the same question over and over again and having difficulty thinking. The more noticeable concussion symptoms went away after a few weeks. Similar symptoms have been reported in some other kiteboarding concussion cases.

Lessons learned

1. Try to stay at least beyond 300 ft. from shore while you are riding. This not only gives you added distance from bystanders but also provides useful distance from hard objects, shoreside.
2. Evaluate weather forecast and current conditions prior to riding. Carefully stay aware of weather conditions while you are riding. No obvious squalls were noticed prior to the accident in this case.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear. This riders head injury could have been more serious without the protection of a helmet.
4. Ride with others as this rider did. Fortunately, others were there to help the kiteboarder after he lost consciousness.

Commentary

Absent obvious indicators of unstable weather, this accident may have been one of the more UNAVOIDABLE variety. Normally there is some advance forecast, weather radar or other warning of strong gusty wind on the way. Also, normally there is some visible indicator of coming unstable weather. Unfortunately, THIS MAY NOT ALWAYS BE THE CASE. Use distance as much as you can during routine riding. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear to help you manage through the unexpected and potentially more random misfortune that can come. If this rider had chosen not to wear a helmet this day, the results of the impact could have been much more grim.


88. Incident # 5 03 5 "Another Reel Board Leash Injury" Location: California, USA
Date: May 28, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A new kiteboarder had been riding with a Wipika 12.5 m kite in light 11 to 12 kt.winds. He was wearing a helmet and was also using a reel board leash. While practicing jumps he had a bad take off and kicked his board loose to better absorb the landing on the water. The board leash catches after about three feet of leash deploys. The board whips around and the board edge slams into the side of his foot. His foot was badly lacerated with several bone fractures.

Lessons learned

1. Board leashes of ANY variety, to date, have been shown by repeated accidents to be unsafe. Not all riders suffer accidents and injuries, only some.
2. Body dragging to recover your board is easily done under many different launch conditions and ALL kiteboarders should master this basic skill during initial training.
3. Riders with contrary currents, cold water and particularly intense wave zones may not be fully at liberty to avoid using some form of board leash.
4. Some riders use reel leashes on a temporary basis to get out through heavy waves, to free both hands for kite relaunching, etc. Special care is followed for the short time the leash is attached to the board. Once the situation has passed the leash comes off of the board.
5. For those few riders that feel they MUST use a board leash with good cause they have automatically escalated the hazard that they face. Use of a helmet and impact vest, regardless of whether or not a board leash is used is strongly recommended. If a board leash is used such safety gear seems only more indicated. It is important to note that there may been several accidents in which helmets failed under rebounding or wave driven board impact. Also, there have been other injuries in which the board hit unprotected parts of the riders body at speed.

Commentary

The majority of riders don't have to use a board leash as there riding conditions will readily support board recovery through body dragging. Some choose not to bother to develop body dragging skill out of "convenience", that is the convenience of using a board leash. If riders are concerned about possible harm to others that a runaway board might cause they should consider moving to a less crowded riding area.


87. Incident # 5 03 5 "Serious Experienced Rider Lofting" Location: Cabrillo Beach, CA, USA
Date: May 22, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A very experienced rider had just launched a Peter Lynn Guerilla 13 m kite with gusty winds ranging between 10 and 24 mph, average 15 mph side onshore. This launch is known for its frequently gusty winds. A gust on launching with the kite low at the water's edge, pulled the rider a bit too far downwind to grab his board. The board had been left beside his anchored kite. He flew the kite carefully through zenith & low over land, to be able to walk back upwind of the board. He was hit by a gust while carefully flying through zenith to get his kite back over the water, lofting him about 8' off the ground. He stopped moving the kite and waited to float back to the ground. As soon as he landed back on the ground another gust hit, lofting him about 20' off the ground. He landed again with bent knees in an attempt to absorb the force of impact on his feet. Unfortunately, the rider suffered a spinal fracture. He popped his quick release and depowered his kite. Had he been lofted one more time he might have been carried on to some boulders.

Lessons learned

1. The injured rider concluded "Don't EVER fly at zenith, even momentarily, unless in deep
water. If the kite accidentally reaches zenith, release IMMEDIATELY, before there's a chance of getting lofted. Even losing a day's riding due to a resulting line tangle is MUCH better than losing EIGHT WEEKS!
2. Launch with your kite near the water and bring it up only about 15 to 20 ft. off the surface. Allow the kite to pull you down to the water where your board should be placed in prior to launching. Do not bring the kite higher until you are well offshore.
3. Consider launching and landing "unhooked."
4. Always use safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest, etc.

Commentary

The rider concluded the need to depower "immediately" if his kite reaches the zenith if his is near hard objects. This position is underscored by his accident and the frequent strong, gusty winds at his launch. Sudden strong gusts are possible in MANY other areas although in many cases, occur less commonly than at Cabrillo Beach, CA. For this reason MANY riders are indifferent or entirely unaware of the advantages of keeping their kite low at many launches, when near hard objects much less have considered automatically depowering their kite if it reaches the zenith. Still the unexpected can come at anytime, constantly practicing anti-lofting technique including "keeping it low & Go" if appropriate for local conditions, makes good sense. Even if your kite is low when a gust hits you may well be dragged at speed and will also be subject to injury. It is critical to mentally and physically rehearse dealing with emergencies in an effort to act in the correct fashion to depower using your tested kite leash system very rapidly.


86. Incident # 5 03 4 "Man-lifting Fatality In England" Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk, England, UK
Date: May 18, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A kiter was reportedly man-lifting secured by a rope to a rugby post with a kite of unspecified size well inland. Unstable weather was in the area with gusts up to 40 mph reported. The kiter was apparently lofted to an undesignated height and fell to earth. He was found unconscious and was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Lessons learned

1. Man-lifting or the practice of using a kite to gain altitude while tethered to an anchor is very hazardous.
2. Kites rise and full with changes in wind speed. Of a necessity anything attached to the kite will rise and fall as well. If the kite pulls taught on an tether line the kite may well be pulled into a stall or "lockout" resulting in a high speed free fall to earth.
3. Using kites in any capacity to gain altitude over or near hard objects including land is hazardous resulting in many fractures and other injuries over time.

Commentary

Carolina Diaz was severely injured by jumping over land last year and this kiter was killed. Other stories about serious negative consequences of going high and/or fast over land exist. It is tempting to want to boost a few jumps at the beach. Manlifting has been responsible for killing people for centuries. The trouble is when things go wrong, best to do your jumping well out over water. Unstable weather is a serious hazard to all power kiters. Weather awareness and contingency planning, practiced and tested safety systems a large, soft downwind buffer zone can be vital for kiteboarders. If you are on land your options can be far fewer in trying to manage sudden gusts.

Additional Information


85. Incident # 5 03 3 "Serious South African Lofting" Location: Long Beach, Kommetje, Cape
Town, South Africa Date: May 25, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of
independent accounts: 3


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder went out early in onshore winds, anticipating a wet cold front to arrive in late morning. He had checked out the weather predictions prior to riding that morning. He had been riding on a 16 m kite for a couple of hours well powered. He could see the rain clouds coming in from the horizon and estimated that he had about another short session in before coming back in and rigging down to an 8 m kite to better manage the gusty wind conditions. He was moving offshore with his kite high off the surface when he was hit by a strong gust about 5 m off the shore. He was moved back on to the beach and dragged along a distance on his board. He was wearing booties for the first time this season and was restricted in easily kicking his board off. He was reluctant to bring his kite down from vertical to avoid being dragged any faster than he was already moving. He concluded that there was a low chance of being lofted. He was suddenly lofted upwards about 10 m. He had his hand on his quick release by concluded that he was too high up to safely release and fall to earth. He was rapidly blowing inland and off the beach about 60 m downwind. He gently dropped to earth about 1 m before a fence. He failed to release and depower his kite at this critical moment. He was lofted again very rapidly after having concluded that he was in control of the situation. He gained altitude rapidly over the next 60 m and went over the top of a house. He was heading towards the wall of another house and concluding that he was going to hit very hard. He steered the kite slightly to the left in an effort to avoid hitting the side of the house and sharp architectural treatments. He increased his forward speed and came down fast, pulling his quick release about 1 m from the ground. He landed feet first on top of a stone wall and bounced forward into a passageway. He immediately was in intense pain and unable to move. His injuries were as follows: broke off the back of his left heel. I was reconnected through surgery. He suffered a compressed vertebra. His right shin bone was broken. His right heel was crushed with several fractures.

Lessons learned

1. Always examine weather predictions and current conditions PRIOR to kiteboarding as this rider did. If unstable weather is moving in consider not kiteboarding or at a minimum coming in well in advance of the arrival of the gusty weather. This rider was aware of all of this but chose to stay out just a bit longer.
2. Onshore winds have a higher incidence of accidents and incidents. In choosing to ride in onshore winds you are accepting the higher odds of misfortune. Add unstable weather and the odds for problems go up substantially.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, gloves, knives, whistle, etc. This rider normally always wore a helmet but forgot it on this morning.
4. Use a well tested and maintained quick release that has a reputation for reliability for release under load. RELEASE AND DEPOWER YOUR KITE BEFORE TROUBLE STRIKES. If you are lofted or dragged, RELEASE IMMEDIATELY at the first opportunity. Many riders have been lofted or dragged a short distance only to be slammed by a strong gust shortly after the intervening lull.
5. Never kite alone. Consider the well being of your fellow riders in deciding whether or not to continue riding with pending changing conditions. We may be prone to take greater chances on our own at times.

Commentary

This sad accident involved a well experienced kiteboarder who not only researched weather conditions but also monitored them while underway. He merely chose to ride a bit longer before rigging down to a smaller kite and as a result suffered a serious lofting and injury. It is important to note that in sufficiently unstable weather it may be difficult to find a small enough kite to ride safely. Kiteboarders have almost been killed by kites from 5 to 10 m in size. in strong gusts that can come with unstable weather. The wise course would be to avoid unstable, gusty weather systems until more reliable winds return. Weather awareness is critical to safe kiteboarding. Also, use of appropriate safety gear can make a critical difference if things go wrong in minimizing the degree of injury.


84. Incident # 5 03 2 "Pro Rider Injured in Lofting" Location: Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Date: May 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A female pro rider had just launched a 5.5m AMP kite in 30 to 40 kt. gusty side onshore winds well away from the water. The wind was starting to increase in speed shortly after launch. She asked another kiteboarder to hold her down but he wasn't able to. Her jam cleat securing her chicken loop then slipped in a gust and fully powered up the kite. Her kite was near vertical at the time of this accident. The guy then grabbed her arm knocking her off balance. In attempting to regain balance she shifted the bar, further powered up her kite and the guy completely lost his grip at this point. She was lofted and hit the sand hard on landing after flying about 10 m horizontally. As a result she fractured two vertebrae. It is not known if she was wearing a helmet or impact vest.

Lessons learned

1. Be very careful in what kite you choose to use and whether you even go, in potentially overpowered, gusty conditions. Choosing to launch in strong conditions demands a high level of skill and reliable tested equipment at a minimum.
2. Make sure that your chicken loop trim adjustment is stable under all foreseeable conditions and will not slip or stop ready adjustment.
3. Small errors and equipment failures can be severely punished in high wind conditions. Extra care and preparation are indicated and the acceptance of a higher chance for injury should be realized.
4. Use of safety gear including a good helmet suitable for kiteboarding, impact vest, etc. may help if the unexpected happens.
5. Keep your kite low if appropriate for local conditions and proceed offshore without delay. If overpowered conditions don't appear to permit this land or depower your kite without delay and consider rigging a smaller kite or sitting this session out.

Commentary

Pro riders of a necessity often go out in more extreme conditions. To some degree skill will compensate for more extreme conditions. However when faced with overpowering conditions with a subsequent equipment failure and ensuing fully powered up kite, skill may not count for a great deal at that point. Having to rely upon another person's body weight to anchor your in place is always a hazardous condition, obviously. Sometimes you will get away with it, then again, not always. Launching with your kite overhead ANYTIME is asking for trouble one of these days. Doing so in strong gusty conditions is mounting the odds heavily against the rider for a safe session.


83. Incident # 5 03 1 "Severe Lofting & Powerline Accident" Location: Camber, England, UK
Date: May 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

An experienced kieboarder was out in 20 kt. side onshore winds with a 12 m Naish X2 kite. As he was riding towards the beach he was hit by a sudden strong gust that lofted him about 20 m (60 ft.), on to the beach. Other riders were out when the gust hit but this rider was closest to shore and presumably was the only one that couldn't activate his kite leash. He tried to open his unspecified snap shackle but it would not function. As he discovered this situation he was flying at speed towards a rock groin.

The rider considered his two choices including: 1) to take the kite through zenith and ditch it into the sea risking a second lofting (probably onto the groin) or 2) to fly the kite into the beach at the slight risk of the kite going over a set of 3 phase, 240 volt power lines. The rider chose the second option and had flown closer to the power lines. So once he dove the kite to the beach, it had gone over the power lines. At this point he was standing on the ground on one side of the power lines with the kite on the other.

Before the rider could figure out how to release his snap shackle he was hit by a second strong gust. This gust relaunched the kite. The kite pulled the rider up towards the powerlines about 8 m (25 ft.) above the ground. He slammed head first into a bungalow roof on the way up breaking the back of his Gath helmet open and sending it flying off. The kite pulled the rider along the powerlines towards a wooden power pole. He hits the power pole and wraps his legs around it. He then lifts his control bar on top of the pole to where the rear kite lines lay of each side of the power pole. The lines short the powerlines with electrical sparks erupting. With the next gust his control bar breaks in two resulting in the activation of his kite depowering leash. He then slides about 1 m down the power pole, cutting into his hands with the 4 inch nails driven into the pole. He then leaps away from the pole on to the roof of a house and in turn on to a dune behind the house.

The rider suffered head lacerations requiring stitches and other cuts to his hands. He also had some hand burns caused by the electrical short. His Gath helmet was broken apart by the impact, his impact vest was heavily punctured, his wetsuit was substantially sliced, his control bar was broken when a 1 inch section of his spreader bar hook was apparently melted by the electrical arching. His kite was undamaged. The top of the power pole was charred by the electrical short. The rider had stopped using a helmet the week before when he decided to no longer use a board leash. He had cut his head on the garage door the morning of the accident and so chose to wear his helmet that day to protect the cut.

Lessons learned

1. Strong gusts usually are associated with visible weather conditions such as squall clouds. Use care in weather planning prior to riding and continuously monitor conditions while you are out. If unstable weather appears to be on the way in, land well in advance of any change in conditions and thoroughly anchor your kite, take off the lines, etc.
2. Always maintain an adequate downwind buffer zone when you ride. Keeping a minimum 60 m or 200 ft. buffer zone and preferably more is prudent. If you ride near hard objects consistently, one of these days you might be lofted/dragged into them.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle, etc. while kiteboarding.
4. Use a well maintained, regularly tested quick release system with a reputation for reliability. Despite these steps you may have insufficient time to open your QR prior to impact or it may simply fail to open. Special consideration, care and maintenance are obviously indicated with regard to your QR.

Commentary

This was a "spectacular" accident and it is remarkable that a fatality or more serious injury was avoided, apparently by luck. If the rider had not worn a helmet on this day, he might have well been killed on impact with the house or seriously concussed with associated substantial brain injury. Many riders conclude that "if you don't use a board leash, you don't need a helmet." This conclusion is obviously FLAWED and not supported by the accident experience. Helmets have helped to reduce or even eliminate injuries on lofting/dragging impacts. On the other hand the helmet shells have failed on several occasions upon board impact. Riders need to use a QR to improve the odds that they will be able to release their bar and activate their depowering leash in case of an emergency. Assuming that your QR will work is not necessarily supported by the accident experience. Special maintenance, testing and care are indicated to improve the odds for proper QR functioning. Then there is the part involving the high tension powerlines. It is almost miraculous that things worked out as they did. The rider apparently wasn't effectively grounded and so wasn't electrocuted. Even more miraculous was the effect of the contact arching conveniently melting his spreader bar hook and thereby allowing the depowering of the kite.


82. Incident # 4 03 4 "Rigging Error Drops Rider Headfirst Into Road" Location: Poole, England, UK
Date: April 27, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder out for his first session of the new season, rigged up an unspecified kite, in gusty unspecified onshore winds near a roadway. Someone walked up to give him an assisted launch as he was setting up for solo launch. The first assisted launch resulted in the kite hitting the ground. The second launch the kite rocketed up and over the wind window, dragging the rider across the beach, over the nearby roadway and into the side of a parked car. The kite luffed then surged up in a new gust and lifted the rider up and over the car and dropped him head first into the middle of the roadway. The lofting extended over roughly 40 horizontally and 12 ft. high. The rider was taken to hospital with undesignated injuries.

Lessons learned

1. NEVER launch adjacent to a roadway, particularly with onshore winds. The rider could have walked well away from the roadway into the shallows.
2. Preflight your gear and then preflight it again. If winds are strong, no problems with preflighting a third time.
3. Try to acquire polar or "kook-proof kite line connectors.
4. If you are doing an assisted launch, insist that the rider launch from a reasonable location and examine the lines between the bar and kite before launching the rider.
5. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear.
6. ALWAYS USE A KITE LEASH. One report indicated that this rider didn't have a leash. So rather than let go of his kite, he hung in there through multiple impacts.

Commentary

This was an easily avoided accident, if the rider paid attention to a few details and good practice in launch selection. Careful preflighting is critical in avoiding this sort of problem. Lots of mistakes in this accident. A key one was choosing to ride without a kite leash. Many riders have chosen to hang on rather than depower their kite, because they couldn't depower. As a result many were injured.


81. Incident # 4 03 3 "No Buffer Zone Crashes Cars" Location: Marazion, England, UK
Date: April 21, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A rider was seen to be flying a two line 7 m Naish AR3.5 about 10 m seaward of a wall. The water's edge was about 60 m from the wall at this time. The winds were about 11 to 21 kts. onshore. The rider lost control of his kite which dragged the rider over the seawall and fell into the roadway. At least one car suffered a collision in emergency braking attempting to avoid the kite. The car passengers involved in the collision collected the kiteboarder and hauled him off to the police station. The rider was wearing an impact vest but no helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Always try to maintain at least a 200 ft. (60 m) buffer zone downwind of hard objects, bystanders, etc. while launching, flying or landing your kite.
2. Launch with your kite close to the water, "Keep it low & GO! if appropriate for local conditions and get offshore without delay.
3. Develop strong kite control skills with a smaller training kite on land. Never fly a full sized traction kite on land for any longer than strictly necessary.
4. If you must launch near a roadway, consider finding another launch.

Commentary

Indifference to common sense will continue to injure kiteboarders, cause incidents and threaten kiteboarding access. Riders that insist of doing ill advised things put themselves, others and our access at risk. Obtaining the best quality, adequate professional kiteboarding training should help to minimize this sort of problems.


80. Incident # 4 03 2 "Tide and Wind Tie Up New Rider" Location: Exmouth, England, UK
Date: April 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 0


Summary

A novice kiteboarder launched an undesignated Naish Aero in 10 to 15 kt. offshore winds. The rider dropped the kite on the water but couldn't successfully relaunch. The tide and wind carried the kiteboarder away from shore. Eventually the kite lines tangled in two waterskiing buoys. The rider subsequently became tangled in the kite lines as well. The offshore wind and tidal current kept sufficient tension on the lines to stop the rider from being able to disentangle himself. The rider wasn't carrying a knife. Eventually the tide went out sufficiently to allow the kiteboarder to stand up. By this time he was fairly hypothermic, had swallowed a lot of water and had loss of ready hand control.

Lessons learned

1. Always kiteboard with others. Develop kiteboarding skills under safe wind, current, wave conditions that aid learning as opposed to impeding it.
2. Don't kiteboard in offshore winds or currents.
3. Always carry safety gear including one or more knives.
4. Wear adequate exposure clothing to address not only routine riding but also an extended period of time in the water should something go wrong.

Commentary

This accident could easy happen to anyone that came into the sport without much orientation or advanced training. There are substantial advantages to obtaining pro kiteboarding training in terms of speed of advancement and safety. You have the opportunity to focus on specific training needs while reducing the risk and interference of other factors that may not be obvious to new kiteboarders.


79. Incident # 4 03 1 "Kiteboarder Tangled Around Neck In Waves" Location: Essaouira, Morocco
Date: April 2003 Participant account included: Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A kiteboarder was out in light winds, approximately 8 to 12 kts. with a small chop with a 17 m kite. He had just jumped but stalled his kite which subsequently fell to the water. The rider couldn't relaunch the kite in the light winds. The rider then started to swim in towards shore when some larger waves came along and swept him into his kite lines. He was underwater with the lines tightened around his neck and the kite loaded up by a wave. He was being pulled by the kite with the lines around his neck that were also choking him. The kiteboarder struggled to release the lines while still underwater without success. Eventually he was able to slide his fingers under the line and start to loosen them. The lines cut through his wetsuit and into his neck slightly.

Lessons learned

1. Never place yourself in a position to where sudden loading of the lines by a kite relaunch or wave force cause the lines to come against or wrap a part of your body.
2. If you have a significant breaker line, consider properly winding up your lines**, deflating, rolling up and tying your kite. If significant waves break over you consider allowing the kite and bar wash away from you.
3. Always wear gloves and carry knife(s) that will cut through both flight and leader lines.
4. ** One idea about winding lines follows with a depowered kite. In order to wind up your lines, carefully wind AT LEAST one wing span length of two lines from the same side of the kite on to your bar. Then carefully wind all four lines on to the bar.
Tie the lines in place once there are wound up. Winding lines with an inflated, depowered kite is ALWAYS dangerous, particularly in higher wind and puts the rider at risk of line cutting or other misadventure. As such it should be approached with special care and awareness of the increased risk.

Commentary

Each case is different but kiteboarders should always work hard to AVOID the potential to become swept into or be tangle by leaders or flight lines. Carrying multiple knives would be a reasonable precaution. Once tensioned lines come in contact with your neck you are at a HIGH risk of serious injury. SPECIAL CARE SHOULD ALWAYS BE EXERCISED TO AVOID THIS FROM HAPPENING.


78. Incident # 2 03 1 "No Buffer Zone, Hit the Rocks" Location: Brisbane, Australia
Date: Feb. 25, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A novice kiteboarder was flying a 10 m Naish Aero II kite when winds gusting to 20 kts. blew the rider into a rock groin. The rider released his bar and depowered his kite after initial impact. The rider suffered a number of deep cuts above his eye and to his shin. A considerable quantity of blood was spilled in this accident. The rider hit board first thereby absorbing a fair amount of the impact force.

Lessons learned

1. New kiteboarders should secure adequate, good quality pro lessons.
2. Always wear safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest and other related gear.
3. ALWAYS HAVE AN ADEQUATE DOWNWIND BUFFER ZONE OF AT LEAST 200 FT. (60 m), if you are training even more particularly during gusty winds is advisable.
4. Avoid stronger gusty winds, say 18 kts. or higher while you are in the initial phases of learning kiteboarding.
5. Consider rigging a reliable, well maintained and regularly tested mechanical release for your center line or chicken loop.

Commentary

This was an easily avoided accident. However under the circumstances even an experienced rider might have been drawn into an accident. In kiteboarding "distance IS your friend," or as they say, "use it or lose it!" Lessons can save the rider from some frustration, possible damaged gear and even threatened riding access for the rest of us. Critically, it could save the new rider considerable pain if things go poorly.


77. Incident # 1 03 5 "Squall Lofts A Half Dozen English Riders" Location: Hunstanton, England, UK
Date: Jan. 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 4


Summary

A kiteboarder reported that there were about ten riders out in lighter conditions with a mix of clouds and sunny conditions. Winds were onshore 12 to 14 kts. This kiteboarder started on a 12 m Cabrinha Blacktip but changed to a 16 m X2 as the wind dropped. After changing kites he noticed a dark cloud moving in from offshore. The wind then picked up a bit and he was nicely powered. He just concluded that he "didn't like the look of the weather", when both he and several other kiteboarders were lofted. This rider was set down but was lofted again, he focused on keeping the kite over his head. He was being flown closer to the seawall or revetment along the shore so he steered over the beach. He hit the beach in a heap and activated his quick release thereby depowering his kite.

Another kiter struggled to release his kite and was repeatedly lofted and dropped on the beach. He finally managed to activate his kite leash VERY close to the seawall or revetment along the shoreline. This rider suffered badly bruised ribs and minor cuts.
Another guy was lofted then dropped hard on the beach and released his kite to fly away downwind. It ended up on the roof of a house about 400 yds. away. He complained of substantial back pain and was later diagnosed as having a compressive spine injury.
The rider that provided this account then went into the water to help other riders and noticed that the beach was strewn with kites, boards and bags. Within ten minutes the sky had cleared completely without any clouds in sight. The wind resumed blowing at about 15 to 16 kts.

The rider reported having kited at Hunstanton for over 2 years every week and has seen the odd squall but nothing like this one in which winds bumped from 14 to 50 kts. very suddenly. There was no mention of squalls in the weather forecast for this date.
Another rider had noticed storm clouds about 3 miles offshore and some dark low clouds moving in but conditions didn't look bad enough to warrant coming in. In about 30 seconds one of the riders went from being slightly underpowered on a 12 m X2, to being at lofted 20 to 30ft high and dragged about 100ft downwind. Winds may have been on the order of 40 to 50 mph. This kiteboarder was using a the side release shackles which didn't release and I was lofted again a similar distance and then used the QR on the X2 bar to successfully drop his bar and depower his kite. As this kiteboarder was swimming in he noticed 5 or 6 other guys with kite ranging from 12m to 16m, all being lofted from the sea onto the beach with the kites landing all over the place. The rider thought that a couple of the kites snapped from their leashes and ended up in the trees.

Lessons learned

1. Review Internet and TV weather radar, realtime wind and forecasts to evaluate the possibility of squalls. Monitor weather all around you continuously while your kite is in the air.
2. NEVER kiteboard in or near squalls. Winds may die or could boost upward by a factor of 2 to 6 or more, change direction, lightening could strike.
3. If you see suspicious clouds moving in, land, anchor and remove the lines from your kite BEFORE any change in temperature or wind speed.
4. If you misjudge things and wait too long, DO NOT WAIT to be on or nearshore to depower your kite, depower it as soon as feasible. It is better to have to swim a reasonable distance than to risk a serious lofting.
5. If you are lofted and land briefly, depower your kite at all costs as rapidly as possible during the lull. It could easily be followed by another strong gust.
6. Be sure to use a properly rigged, tested and maintained quick release mechanism. The Wichard 2673/2674 has reported fairly good release reliability characteristics.

Commentary

Squalls are common in many areas around the world. Kiteboarders that are indifferent to this hazard will likely have gear damage, lose a kite or potentially be injured one of these days. The KSI lists MANY accidents caused by riding in squalls. More information for weather planning in the UK appears at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7685
and in the USA at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7646


76. Incident # 1 03 4 "Careless Kiteboarders Arrested" Location: Mexico
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An instructor was teaching on the beach nea the site of an upcoming kiteboarding event. The instructor was reportedly visiting Mexico from Portugal. The instructor was teaching a student with a two line foil of unspecified size in about 18 mph. No depowering leash was in use on this kite. The lesson was given in a congested area of the beach with bystanders all around. The student lost control of the kite and eventually dropped the control bar. The kite flew away at speed with the control bar striking a child, the lines in turn wrapped around her. She was dragged into hard impact at speed against a palapa or beach structure. The child suffered substantial injuries in this accident however the details about her specific injuries are not known. The authorities concluded that the instructor was aware of the hazard and he was negligent. As a consequence the instructor was arrested and placed in jail.

Lessons learned

1. Always keep a safe buffer zone between the kiteboarder and bystanders. Two kite line lengths or more is a commonly used guideline.
2. Always use a properly configured, tested and maintained kite depower leash.
3. Instructors of a necessity must be more responsible and clear sighted about potential hazards than students. Research your instructors well and select them carefully.

Commentary

Another instructor from the USA spoke with the instructor that contributed to this accident in the past about following reasonable safety procedures, using a kite leash and keeping adequate distance away from others. The instructor reportedly laughed at the well intended USA instructor for his efforts and ignored his suggestions. Several people recorded in the KSI chose to ignore well intended advice from more experienced kiteboarders. As a result many were injured and at least one was killed. Caution and listening to good advice make sense in a new potentially hazardous activity. This sport is not as easy as it looks. Kiteboarders that ignore this may cause harm to others as in this case and to themselves. Going to jail for poor judgment is no picnic. Overconfidence and carelessness can earn all sorts of reality checks and punishments. Hurting others in the course of this is inexcusable. Lots of riders have concluded that they don't need kite leashes and particularly with foils. This avoidable accident proves them wrong. There are far more inflatable kites in use than foils these days. An inflatable kite can travel much further at speed and with full power than a foil. ALL KITEBOARDERS NEED TO USE TESTED KITE LEASHES AND KEEP RESPONSIBLE DISTANCES FROM OTHERS.


75. Incident # 1 03 3 "Bystander Launches Rider Into Dune" Location: Cornwall, England, UK
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A new kiteboarder had just solo launched an oversized kite for existing wind conditions. He proceeded to try to solo land his kite when he noticed that his kite lesh had come undone. As usual the leash lay just beyond the rider's reach despite his extensive efforts to grab it. The kiteboarder then asked a bystander for help. The bystander grabbed the leash line but then pulled on it. This looped the kite into the power zone thereby lofting the rider. He hit the beach and was lofted again. The rider then managed to get out of the chicken loop at this point and released his kite. The kite flew off and landed in a camp site. The rider dislocated his hip, requiring hospitalization and traction for several weeks. The kiteboarder wants to return to riding as soon as he can. The rider was reportedly not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Always secure adequate pro kiteboarding instruction to minimize the hazards and speed your rate of improvement in kiteboarding.
2. Make sure that your kite leash attachment is secure and will not pull away prematurely by accident.
3. Be very reluctant to use uninitiated bystanders for any assistance. There have been cases of unexpected and unpredictable responses that have resulted in incidents and accidents.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear.
5. Always ride with others.

Commentary

This accident could have been hard to predict. Yet, other kiteboarders have been drawn into accidents and incidents by attempting to secure help from nearby non-kiteboarders. Some of the injuries as in this case have been serious. If you ride with other kiteboarders there is a much better chance that someone with reasonable familiarity with the do's and don'ts of kiteboarding will be around to help. If the rider struck head first a serious head injury could have easily resulted. Routine use of safety gear is indicated.


74. Incident # 1 03 2 "Too Shallow, Shackle Fails, Rider Seriously Injured" Location: Cabarete, D.R.
Date: Jan. 20, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder visiting from Europe was riding in 15 to 20 kt. onshore winds, in very shallow water near shore when his board fin struck bottom. He tumbled, fell over and pulled his kite into the center of the powerzone. He was dragged at high speed inland across the sand. He was seen to be pulling his snap shackle in an attempt to release his bar and depower his kite. The shackle released but it snagged on the rubber covering of the chicken loop and held tight. The rider was dragged head first into a wall and was severely injured. He was not reported to be wearing a helmet. He was not carrying ID so there was a delay in identifying the kiteboarder. He was reportedly using a side release snap shackle connected directly over the chicken loop.

Lessons learned

1. Snap shackles MUST be properly rigged, well maintained and frequently tested to IMPROVE the odds for proper release in an emergency. Side release snap shackles are commonly considered to be INAPPROPRIATE for kiteboarding use.
2. Given the uncertainty of proper function of quick release mechanisms in emergencies pains should be taken to AVOID conditions that might lead to an emergency.
3. Riding in onshore winds has a higher incidence of injuries.
4. Kiteboarders should NEVER ride in water shallow enough to come near striking bottom. Even more water depth is required to compensate for a poor jump landing to avoid possible injury from hitting bottom.
5. All kiteboarders would benefit from wearing a proper fitting, good helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle, knife(s), carefully tested kite leash, etc.
6. Kiteboarders should carry a laminated copy of a photo ID and with friends.

Commentary

Small errors in judgment can have serious consequences when things go wrong. Riding in too shallow water, in onshore winds, without safety equipment, with an improperly rigged snap shackle is REALLY stacking the deck against long term safety.
Often you might get away with it but not always as this sad accident demonstrated. Safety gear and riding are governed by individual choice, do your research and choose well.

[b]
73. Incident # 1 03 1 "Potentially Serious Oz Lofting" Location: Dolls Point, Sydney Australia
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1
Summary

An experienced rider had just launched his 14 m Toro II kite in steady 15 kt. side onshore winds while standing near the water with his kite inland near a car parking lot. He was about 20 m (65 ft.) from a concrete wall that bordered the parking lot along with a number of tall trees. The rider had tried to lock his chicken loop on to his harness hook using the plastic tube that is stitched into the chicken loop assembly. The rider then bends over to pickup his board that is on the ground beside him. The plastic tube was apparently not properly seated in place and released the chicken loop from the spreader bar. This fully powered up the kite, as the rider was holding the bar with only one hand this steered the kite at speed into the power zone. The kiteboarder was lofted a few feet into the air and was then slammed down on to the beach about ten feet away. The kite then dragged the rider towards the concrete wall bordering the parking lot at speed. The kite fortunately tangled in one of the trees bordering the parking lot stopping his rapid passage towards the concrete wall. The overall horizontal distance of travel was approximately 30 ft. The rider apparently hung on to his bar throughout the accident with one hand only and no other connection. The riders kite was badly torn but he suffered no injury. He was not wearing a helmet or impact vest.

Lessons learned

1. For many launch areas, launching with your kite near the water with you standing upland is generally safer with properly preflighted gear. It is even better if both the rider and the kite are in the water at time of launch.
2. Make sure your tested quick release mechanism is properly secured, free of sand or other irregularities that might impair function. It is not certain if this rider was using a pin quick release or perhaps no quick release at all. Some 2001 bar models had only the retaining plastic tube with no pin release assembly. If you are using a pin release, research test and performance information to verify that it has a reputation for proper release even under load.
3. It is generally safer to pickup your board at the water's edge with your kite flying offshore.
4. Consider launching and landing unhooked.
5. Always wear and good helmet, impact vest, etc.
6. Mentally and physically rehearse, JUST LETTING GO of your control bar in emergencies.

Commentary

This rider made an easy error in failing to properly secure his chicken loop with the plastic retaining tube. The problem is that his launch setup was configured to amplify the accident into a potentially very serious situation. If the rider had launched with his kite near the water he would have merely been dragged into the water.
It is important the riders be deliberate and cautious in kiteboarding, PARTICULARLY during the launch and landing times. Most serious accidents appear to happen during these times. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER launching and landing unhooked. If something serious happens, just let go and depower your kite using your kite leash.


COPYRIGHT 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 FKA, INC.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-10-2004, 03:45 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,258
Default Kitesurfing Safety Information Year 2003 - Vers. 9-9-03

Kitesurfing Safety Information Year 2003 - Vers. 9-9-03

b]PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING ...

TERMS OF USE: Access to and use of this information is restricted. This
resource is intended for the reading and private use by KITEBOARDERS
ONLY to improve safety. Use by other parties for any other purpose or
reproduction of portions or the entirety of this copyrighted document by
ANY PARTY, is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is
given by the owner. In proceeding below to review this document, the user
fully agrees to comply with these restrictions.
[/b]












KITEBOARDING SAFETY INFORMATION (KSI) Introduction

This collection of reported but largely unconfirmed kiteboarding accidents and incidents has been prepared with the goal of improving kiteboarding safety. It is intended to spread the lessons learned from these accounts. The accuracy of most of these accounts is not verified and as such they should not be considered so. Ideally, the reader should view these accounts as describing potential credible scenarios that could lead to injury. The rider should gather ideas and perspective on how to avoid similar accidents and incidents. Kiteboarding is a new and rapidly growing sport. Safety concepts and knowledge are still being learned and spread. It is a goal of this resource to aid that process where possible.

It is important to put the frequency of these reported accident and incident accounts in perspective. These few dozen reported incidents generally represent the extremes in this sport. They do not represent the perceived normal rider experience. All accounts over a three year period. Estimates vary, but in that three years roughly ten million or more hours may have been spent by riders kiteboarding worldwide. Surveys are in progress but for now this is a rough estimate. The vast majority of these hours are perceived as having been free from serious incidents or injury. These scenarios represent incidents that reportedly happened to a minority of riders and should not be taken as "normal" by any means. Similar statistics for verified bicycle, aircraft or automobile accidents would be vastly more shocking in terms of the high numbers of victims per year and dramatic injuries worldwide. This resource has been prepared to raise the state of awareness and to avoid accidents. The point is that these reported accidents and incidents could potentially occur to any rider in conditions similar to those described. As such, kiteboarding should be viewed as a potentially dangerous, extreme sport that deserves careful training, practice, preparation and judgment to be safely enjoyed. With the expansion of knowledge, use of appropriate caution and adoption of better safety and riding procedures these risks should be reduced substantially. We are all still learning about this sport and the hazards that may be out there.

Often the difference between a safe kiteboarding session or an injurious one is prior knowledge, appropriate safety gear, practice of procedures to avoid problems and careful, informed judgment. This resource is intended for the downloading, reading and private use of kiteboarders only. Use by other parties for any other purpose is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is given. This document is protected by copyright and reproduction of this document or portions thereof is prohibited without prior written approval of the owner.

Kiteboarding when undertaken in a responsible, informed fashion with proper professional training and preparation may be safer than other popular sports such as hang gliding, off-piste skiing, mixed gas scuba diving and many other pursuits. The preparation of this collection of stories is to improve common knowledge, awareness of threats to safety and questionable riding practices. The following examples will hopefully illustrate the potential costs of poor practices and judgment.

I want to express sincere thanks to Brett Gibson, founder of the Mid-Atlantic Kitesurfing Association, for proof reading and helping to revise this document. Also, I want to thank all the riders that have provided input that resulted in the creation of this resource. Constructive comments, suggestions, alternative views, credible eyewitness and particularly participant account information are always welcome and should be emailed to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com.

Table Of Contents Page

Introduction .................................................. ............................... 2
Table of Contents .................................................. ..................... 3
Organization .................................................. ............................. 4
Disclaimer .................................................. ................................. 4
Correlation of Accident/Incident Circumstances ......................... 5
New Accounts and Additional Information .................................. 5

Kiteboarding Account Summaries:
Year 2003 (Accounts 73 - 93 )
Year 2002 (Accounts 19 - 72 ) ............................. Separate File
Year 2001 (Accounts 6- 18) .................................. Separate File
Year 2000 (Accounts 1 - 5) ................................... Separate File


Organization

The accounts are divided into four sections, including:

General Information

This section provides an account number, date of the account, reported date of incident and location information. When possible, other reports of the account were sought and/or received from others. The number of these other reports is listed in this section. If information was received directly from the participant, it is noted in this section as well. Finally, if the information is described by a published internet account, the URL will be provided if it is known.

Summary

This section provides details that have been related without embellishment or comment. Despite attempts to verify the accounts, they should not be assumed to be verified. However, they may represent realistic but potentially hypothetical object lessons or scenarios for kiteboarders. Remembered and second party accounts may have errors and as such should not be assumed to be verified or necessarily to depict actual occurrences.

Lessons Learned

This section provides opinion regarding potential improved safety practices for kiteboarding derived from the experience related in the account. These “Lessons” may alter with time as new knowledge is gained and distributed in the sport. When new credible practices become known, they may be incorporated in updated versions of the accounts.

Commentary

This section provides opinions and specific observations based on the reported account. These comments are intended to discuss relationship to other incidents, trends, general precautions or other relevant topics.

Disclaimer

The account summaries listed in this resource may not be 100% accurate. Although accuracy is intended, it is not guaranteed in any fashion. No responsibility is assumed whatsoever for any errors, omissions, conclusions or consequences thereof. Attempts have been made in some cases to verify the accounts, but none of the account details should be considered to be confirmed or fully accurate by the information contained herein. Kiteboarding may potentially be practiced with reasonable safety with thorough training, current good practices, safety gear and by employing good judgment. This sport can be very dangerous if it is not approached with the level of care described. The same conclusion could apply to operating a car, bicycle or boat if the same lack of care as described was employed in these activities. These reports represent reported information and related opinions and are not intended to represent positions or opinions held by any organization or group. Other valid conclusions and procedures may be drawn from the information contained in this resource and will likely be drawn in the future as kiteboarding knowledge and safety technique is better understood. Participants are generally not identified by name, unless this identity is common knowledge or release is given. The goal of this resource is to impart lessons learned from the reported experiences of these individuals or likely scenarios and not to unduly embarrass or criticize the kiterboarders.

It is regretted that they have reportedly gone through these experiences. Sincere thanks are extended to them for helping to improve the safety of this sport with their accounts.
This resource is intended for the downloading, reading and private use of kiteboarders only. Use by other parties for any other purpose is strictly prohibited unless prior written release to do so is given. This document is protected by copyright and reproduction of this document or portions thereof is prohibited without prior written approval.

Kiteboarding Account Summaries Year 2003
(CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED)


93. Incident # 6 03 4 "California Female Rider Seriously Injured" Location: Alameda, CA, USA
Date: July 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 3


Summary

A new female kiteboarder had been taking lessons and was out with a friend who was also taking lessons in light 10 to 12 mph onshore winds with a 12 m four line inflatable kite. She had attempted an assisted launch a few times without success. A passerby suggested that she check the rigging on the kite. Apparently, the new kiter rerigged the kite and launched again. She may have been hit by a wave at time of launch or have not properly reregged the kite. This time she was flung at speed forward a distance, colliding head first with a sand ledge or berm on the beach. She was knocked unconscious and into a coma. She remained in the coma for an extended period of time but eventually came out of it. About a month later she was still hospitalized but not yet fully lucid. She was not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Avoid onshore winds, particularly if you are a new kiter.
2. Preflight your gear and preflight again. Try to acquire "kook proof" or polar connectors to reduce the chances for rigging errors.
3. Never launch in a wave zone.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other appropriate safety gear.

Commentary

This is a very sad accident and underscores the need for all kiteboarders to follow reasonable practices during setup, preflighting, riding and landing. It is amazing that such a serious injury could occur in such light winds. Onshore winds statistically have a higher incidence of accidents and should be avoided. It is unknown whether a helmet would have reduced the serious head injury in the case or not. Of course if you don't where one the answer is academic and always the same. It simply doesn't matter after the accident has occurred. Some riders discount the chances of injury when riding around soft sand alone. This along with other accidents establishe that serious injury can occur even in sand.


92. Incident # 6 03 3 "Rider Dragged Into Rocks" Location: 34rd Avenue, Foster, CA
Date: July 18, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A rider was out with an unspecified kite, in unspecified winds. When asked what happened, the rider in the hospital after surgery and possibly under the influence of pain medication, said "his lines fell of the bar." It is possible that the riders kite stalled and created slack in his lines as he was walking towards a rock embankment downwind of him. The kite powered back up and dragged him into the rocks. The rider suffered serious injury including a broken leg and severely fractured knee.

Lessons learned

1. Few details were available about this accident.
2. Keeping an adequate downwind buffer zone would have likely avoided this accident.
3. Having a kite aloft with a pile of rocks nearby downwind is never a good idea.

Commentary

If anyone can provide additional details about this accident it would be appreciated. Distance can help forgive some errors in judgment along with a fair amount of bad luck. If you don't maintain a buffer zone there goes that option and impact is much closer than it might otherwise be.


91. Incident # 6 03 2 "Crossed Lines Injure Rider" Location: Stevenson, Oregon, USA
Date: June 23, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An experienced rider connected one of his back lines to the front of his kite and launched in undesignated winds. As a result he was dragged into the rocks at the base of the bluff. The rider suffered a broken arm, leg, extensive bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc. The rider was reportedly not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Preflight & Preflight Again. If strong winds are on, why not do it a third time?
2. Use polar or "kook proof" line connectors to reduce the chances for flight line connection errors.
3. Try to maintain an adequate buffer zone.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, etc.
5. Assisted launches are recommended with trained, experienced help. The helper should look down the lines towards the kiteboarder to verify proper line attachment. The kiteboarder should do the same from his end as a last check.

Commentary

There have been many rigging errors and resulting incidents, damaged gear and rider injuries from this simple mistake. It is very easy to make such a mistake however it is also easy to catch and correct this error. If stronger winds are present you will likely be dragged/lofted at high speed into a rapid, hard impact. The speed of this process will likely be faster than the rider can effectively pop his quick release and depower his kite. If you are careless during setup and preflighting you may well be closing your eyes to serious consequences and an avoidable injury one of these days.


90. Incident # 6 03 2 "Improper Leash Use Impales Rider's Foot" Location: Cabarete, DR
Date: June 9, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A kiteboarder decided to misuse his kite depowering leash as a board leash. The rider was first noticed nearshore with his kite in the air. Shortly after that point the kiteboarder landed his kite and proceeded to writher in agony. It turns out that the metal kite leash clip broke apart and flew back at the rider, impaling his heel.

Lessons learned

1. Board leashes are dangerous and the majority of kiteboarders can normally body drag to recover their board.
2. Misusing a kite leash as a too short, fixed board leash is a poor idea as supported by this accident.
3. All riders should master body dragging early in their kiteboarding training.

Commentary

Strong forces can routinely occur in kiteboarding. Such forces can readily cause material failure particularly in poorly maintained or misused hardware. The majority of riders would probably kiteboard more safely without board leashes. Please refer to some of the other accounts regarding board leash injuries for further comments on this problem.


89. Incident # 6 03 1 "Serious Australian Lofting" Location: Yarra Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Date: 6-7-03 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 0


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder was out with a 12 m Aero II kite in gusty, 17 kts. side onshore winds. He had made a few runs and has no real memory of the rest of the accident. The rest of this account is constructed from observer reports. The rider dropped his kite about 5 m from shore. He managed to relaunch the kite but was suddenly hit by a 33 kt. wind gust. He was lofted a few feet upward and flown at speed towards the beach. He hit the right side of his helmet against the sand beach. The accident happened with such speed he thought he wouldn't have had time to activate his quick release. The rider lost consciousness on impact. Someone flying a trainer kite nearby ran up and grabbed the injured riders kite. The rider was taken to hospital with a serious concussion, with initial symptoms of incoherence, talking gibberish, repeatedly asking the same question over and over again and having difficulty thinking. The more noticeable concussion symptoms went away after a few weeks. Similar symptoms have been reported in some other kiteboarding concussion cases.

Lessons learned

1. Try to stay at least beyond 300 ft. from shore while you are riding. This not only gives you added distance from bystanders but also provides useful distance from hard objects, shoreside.
2. Evaluate weather forecast and current conditions prior to riding. Carefully stay aware of weather conditions while you are riding. No obvious squalls were noticed prior to the accident in this case.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear. This riders head injury could have been more serious without the protection of a helmet.
4. Ride with others as this rider did. Fortunately, others were there to help the kiteboarder after he lost consciousness.

Commentary

Absent obvious indicators of unstable weather, this accident may have been one of the more UNAVOIDABLE variety. Normally there is some advance forecast, weather radar or other warning of strong gusty wind on the way. Also, normally there is some visible indicator of coming unstable weather. Unfortunately, THIS MAY NOT ALWAYS BE THE CASE. Use distance as much as you can during routine riding. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear to help you manage through the unexpected and potentially more random misfortune that can come. If this rider had chosen not to wear a helmet this day, the results of the impact could have been much more grim.


88. Incident # 5 03 5 "Another Reel Board Leash Injury" Location: California, USA
Date: May 28, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A new kiteboarder had been riding with a Wipika 12.5 m kite in light 11 to 12 kt.winds. He was wearing a helmet and was also using a reel board leash. While practicing jumps he had a bad take off and kicked his board loose to better absorb the landing on the water. The board leash catches after about three feet of leash deploys. The board whips around and the board edge slams into the side of his foot. His foot was badly lacerated with several bone fractures.

Lessons learned

1. Board leashes of ANY variety, to date, have been shown by repeated accidents to be unsafe. Not all riders suffer accidents and injuries, only some.
2. Body dragging to recover your board is easily done under many different launch conditions and ALL kiteboarders should master this basic skill during initial training.
3. Riders with contrary currents, cold water and particularly intense wave zones may not be fully at liberty to avoid using some form of board leash.
4. Some riders use reel leashes on a temporary basis to get out through heavy waves, to free both hands for kite relaunching, etc. Special care is followed for the short time the leash is attached to the board. Once the situation has passed the leash comes off of the board.
5. For those few riders that feel they MUST use a board leash with good cause they have automatically escalated the hazard that they face. Use of a helmet and impact vest, regardless of whether or not a board leash is used is strongly recommended. If a board leash is used such safety gear seems only more indicated. It is important to note that there may been several accidents in which helmets failed under rebounding or wave driven board impact. Also, there have been other injuries in which the board hit unprotected parts of the riders body at speed.

Commentary

The majority of riders don't have to use a board leash as there riding conditions will readily support board recovery through body dragging. Some choose not to bother to develop body dragging skill out of "convenience", that is the convenience of using a board leash. If riders are concerned about possible harm to others that a runaway board might cause they should consider moving to a less crowded riding area.


87. Incident # 5 03 5 "Serious Experienced Rider Lofting" Location: Cabrillo Beach, CA, USA
Date: May 22, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A very experienced rider had just launched a Peter Lynn Guerilla 13 m kite with gusty winds ranging between 10 and 24 mph, average 15 mph side onshore. This launch is known for its frequently gusty winds. A gust on launching with the kite low at the water's edge, pulled the rider a bit too far downwind to grab his board. The board had been left beside his anchored kite. He flew the kite carefully through zenith & low over land, to be able to walk back upwind of the board. He was hit by a gust while carefully flying through zenith to get his kite back over the water, lofting him about 8' off the ground. He stopped moving the kite and waited to float back to the ground. As soon as he landed back on the ground another gust hit, lofting him about 20' off the ground. He landed again with bent knees in an attempt to absorb the force of impact on his feet. Unfortunately, the rider suffered a spinal fracture. He popped his quick release and depowered his kite. Had he been lofted one more time he might have been carried on to some boulders.

Lessons learned

1. The injured rider concluded "Don't EVER fly at zenith, even momentarily, unless in deep
water. If the kite accidentally reaches zenith, release IMMEDIATELY, before there's a chance of getting lofted. Even losing a day's riding due to a resulting line tangle is MUCH better than losing EIGHT WEEKS!
2. Launch with your kite near the water and bring it up only about 15 to 20 ft. off the surface. Allow the kite to pull you down to the water where your board should be placed in prior to launching. Do not bring the kite higher until you are well offshore.
3. Consider launching and landing "unhooked."
4. Always use safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest, etc.

Commentary

The rider concluded the need to depower "immediately" if his kite reaches the zenith if his is near hard objects. This position is underscored by his accident and the frequent strong, gusty winds at his launch. Sudden strong gusts are possible in MANY other areas although in many cases, occur less commonly than at Cabrillo Beach, CA. For this reason MANY riders are indifferent or entirely unaware of the advantages of keeping their kite low at many launches, when near hard objects much less have considered automatically depowering their kite if it reaches the zenith. Still the unexpected can come at anytime, constantly practicing anti-lofting technique including "keeping it low & Go" if appropriate for local conditions, makes good sense. Even if your kite is low when a gust hits you may well be dragged at speed and will also be subject to injury. It is critical to mentally and physically rehearse dealing with emergencies in an effort to act in the correct fashion to depower using your tested kite leash system very rapidly.


86. Incident # 5 03 4 "Man-lifting Fatality In England" Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk, England, UK
Date: May 18, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A kiter was reportedly man-lifting secured by a rope to a rugby post with a kite of unspecified size well inland. Unstable weather was in the area with gusts up to 40 mph reported. The kiter was apparently lofted to an undesignated height and fell to earth. He was found unconscious and was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Lessons learned

1. Man-lifting or the practice of using a kite to gain altitude while tethered to an anchor is very hazardous.
2. Kites rise and full with changes in wind speed. Of a necessity anything attached to the kite will rise and fall as well. If the kite pulls taught on an tether line the kite may well be pulled into a stall or "lockout" resulting in a high speed free fall to earth.
3. Using kites in any capacity to gain altitude over or near hard objects including land is hazardous resulting in many fractures and other injuries over time.

Commentary

Carolina Diaz was severely injured by jumping over land last year and this kiter was killed. Other stories about serious negative consequences of going high and/or fast over land exist. It is tempting to want to boost a few jumps at the beach. Manlifting has been responsible for killing people for centuries. The trouble is when things go wrong, best to do your jumping well out over water. Unstable weather is a serious hazard to all power kiters. Weather awareness and contingency planning, practiced and tested safety systems a large, soft downwind buffer zone can be vital for kiteboarders. If you are on land your options can be far fewer in trying to manage sudden gusts.

Additional Information


85. Incident # 5 03 3 "Serious South African Lofting" Location: Long Beach, Kommetje, Cape
Town, South Africa Date: May 25, 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of
independent accounts: 3


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder went out early in onshore winds, anticipating a wet cold front to arrive in late morning. He had checked out the weather predictions prior to riding that morning. He had been riding on a 16 m kite for a couple of hours well powered. He could see the rain clouds coming in from the horizon and estimated that he had about another short session in before coming back in and rigging down to an 8 m kite to better manage the gusty wind conditions. He was moving offshore with his kite high off the surface when he was hit by a strong gust about 5 m off the shore. He was moved back on to the beach and dragged along a distance on his board. He was wearing booties for the first time this season and was restricted in easily kicking his board off. He was reluctant to bring his kite down from vertical to avoid being dragged any faster than he was already moving. He concluded that there was a low chance of being lofted. He was suddenly lofted upwards about 10 m. He had his hand on his quick release by concluded that he was too high up to safely release and fall to earth. He was rapidly blowing inland and off the beach about 60 m downwind. He gently dropped to earth about 1 m before a fence. He failed to release and depower his kite at this critical moment. He was lofted again very rapidly after having concluded that he was in control of the situation. He gained altitude rapidly over the next 60 m and went over the top of a house. He was heading towards the wall of another house and concluding that he was going to hit very hard. He steered the kite slightly to the left in an effort to avoid hitting the side of the house and sharp architectural treatments. He increased his forward speed and came down fast, pulling his quick release about 1 m from the ground. He landed feet first on top of a stone wall and bounced forward into a passageway. He immediately was in intense pain and unable to move. His injuries were as follows: broke off the back of his left heel. I was reconnected through surgery. He suffered a compressed vertebra. His right shin bone was broken. His right heel was crushed with several fractures.

Lessons learned

1. Always examine weather predictions and current conditions PRIOR to kiteboarding as this rider did. If unstable weather is moving in consider not kiteboarding or at a minimum coming in well in advance of the arrival of the gusty weather. This rider was aware of all of this but chose to stay out just a bit longer.
2. Onshore winds have a higher incidence of accidents and incidents. In choosing to ride in onshore winds you are accepting the higher odds of misfortune. Add unstable weather and the odds for problems go up substantially.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, gloves, knives, whistle, etc. This rider normally always wore a helmet but forgot it on this morning.
4. Use a well tested and maintained quick release that has a reputation for reliability for release under load. RELEASE AND DEPOWER YOUR KITE BEFORE TROUBLE STRIKES. If you are lofted or dragged, RELEASE IMMEDIATELY at the first opportunity. Many riders have been lofted or dragged a short distance only to be slammed by a strong gust shortly after the intervening lull.
5. Never kite alone. Consider the well being of your fellow riders in deciding whether or not to continue riding with pending changing conditions. We may be prone to take greater chances on our own at times.

Commentary

This sad accident involved a well experienced kiteboarder who not only researched weather conditions but also monitored them while underway. He merely chose to ride a bit longer before rigging down to a smaller kite and as a result suffered a serious lofting and injury. It is important to note that in sufficiently unstable weather it may be difficult to find a small enough kite to ride safely. Kiteboarders have almost been killed by kites from 5 to 10 m in size. in strong gusts that can come with unstable weather. The wise course would be to avoid unstable, gusty weather systems until more reliable winds return. Weather awareness is critical to safe kiteboarding. Also, use of appropriate safety gear can make a critical difference if things go wrong in minimizing the degree of injury.


84. Incident # 5 03 2 "Pro Rider Injured in Lofting" Location: Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Date: May 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A female pro rider had just launched a 5.5m AMP kite in 30 to 40 kt. gusty side onshore winds well away from the water. The wind was starting to increase in speed shortly after launch. She asked another kiteboarder to hold her down but he wasn't able to. Her jam cleat securing her chicken loop then slipped in a gust and fully powered up the kite. Her kite was near vertical at the time of this accident. The guy then grabbed her arm knocking her off balance. In attempting to regain balance she shifted the bar, further powered up her kite and the guy completely lost his grip at this point. She was lofted and hit the sand hard on landing after flying about 10 m horizontally. As a result she fractured two vertebrae. It is not known if she was wearing a helmet or impact vest.

Lessons learned

1. Be very careful in what kite you choose to use and whether you even go, in potentially overpowered, gusty conditions. Choosing to launch in strong conditions demands a high level of skill and reliable tested equipment at a minimum.
2. Make sure that your chicken loop trim adjustment is stable under all foreseeable conditions and will not slip or stop ready adjustment.
3. Small errors and equipment failures can be severely punished in high wind conditions. Extra care and preparation are indicated and the acceptance of a higher chance for injury should be realized.
4. Use of safety gear including a good helmet suitable for kiteboarding, impact vest, etc. may help if the unexpected happens.
5. Keep your kite low if appropriate for local conditions and proceed offshore without delay. If overpowered conditions don't appear to permit this land or depower your kite without delay and consider rigging a smaller kite or sitting this session out.

Commentary

Pro riders of a necessity often go out in more extreme conditions. To some degree skill will compensate for more extreme conditions. However when faced with overpowering conditions with a subsequent equipment failure and ensuing fully powered up kite, skill may not count for a great deal at that point. Having to rely upon another person's body weight to anchor your in place is always a hazardous condition, obviously. Sometimes you will get away with it, then again, not always. Launching with your kite overhead ANYTIME is asking for trouble one of these days. Doing so in strong gusty conditions is mounting the odds heavily against the rider for a safe session.


83. Incident # 5 03 1 "Severe Lofting & Powerline Accident" Location: Camber, England, UK
Date: May 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

An experienced kieboarder was out in 20 kt. side onshore winds with a 12 m Naish X2 kite. As he was riding towards the beach he was hit by a sudden strong gust that lofted him about 20 m (60 ft.), on to the beach. Other riders were out when the gust hit but this rider was closest to shore and presumably was the only one that couldn't activate his kite leash. He tried to open his unspecified snap shackle but it would not function. As he discovered this situation he was flying at speed towards a rock groin.

The rider considered his two choices including: 1) to take the kite through zenith and ditch it into the sea risking a second lofting (probably onto the groin) or 2) to fly the kite into the beach at the slight risk of the kite going over a set of 3 phase, 240 volt power lines. The rider chose the second option and had flown closer to the power lines. So once he dove the kite to the beach, it had gone over the power lines. At this point he was standing on the ground on one side of the power lines with the kite on the other.

Before the rider could figure out how to release his snap shackle he was hit by a second strong gust. This gust relaunched the kite. The kite pulled the rider up towards the powerlines about 8 m (25 ft.) above the ground. He slammed head first into a bungalow roof on the way up breaking the back of his Gath helmet open and sending it flying off. The kite pulled the rider along the powerlines towards a wooden power pole. He hits the power pole and wraps his legs around it. He then lifts his control bar on top of the pole to where the rear kite lines lay of each side of the power pole. The lines short the powerlines with electrical sparks erupting. With the next gust his control bar breaks in two resulting in the activation of his kite depowering leash. He then slides about 1 m down the power pole, cutting into his hands with the 4 inch nails driven into the pole. He then leaps away from the pole on to the roof of a house and in turn on to a dune behind the house.

The rider suffered head lacerations requiring stitches and other cuts to his hands. He also had some hand burns caused by the electrical short. His Gath helmet was broken apart by the impact, his impact vest was heavily punctured, his wetsuit was substantially sliced, his control bar was broken when a 1 inch section of his spreader bar hook was apparently melted by the electrical arching. His kite was undamaged. The top of the power pole was charred by the electrical short. The rider had stopped using a helmet the week before when he decided to no longer use a board leash. He had cut his head on the garage door the morning of the accident and so chose to wear his helmet that day to protect the cut.

Lessons learned

1. Strong gusts usually are associated with visible weather conditions such as squall clouds. Use care in weather planning prior to riding and continuously monitor conditions while you are out. If unstable weather appears to be on the way in, land well in advance of any change in conditions and thoroughly anchor your kite, take off the lines, etc.
2. Always maintain an adequate downwind buffer zone when you ride. Keeping a minimum 60 m or 200 ft. buffer zone and preferably more is prudent. If you ride near hard objects consistently, one of these days you might be lofted/dragged into them.
3. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle, etc. while kiteboarding.
4. Use a well maintained, regularly tested quick release system with a reputation for reliability. Despite these steps you may have insufficient time to open your QR prior to impact or it may simply fail to open. Special consideration, care and maintenance are obviously indicated with regard to your QR.

Commentary

This was a "spectacular" accident and it is remarkable that a fatality or more serious injury was avoided, apparently by luck. If the rider had not worn a helmet on this day, he might have well been killed on impact with the house or seriously concussed with associated substantial brain injury. Many riders conclude that "if you don't use a board leash, you don't need a helmet." This conclusion is obviously FLAWED and not supported by the accident experience. Helmets have helped to reduce or even eliminate injuries on lofting/dragging impacts. On the other hand the helmet shells have failed on several occasions upon board impact. Riders need to use a QR to improve the odds that they will be able to release their bar and activate their depowering leash in case of an emergency. Assuming that your QR will work is not necessarily supported by the accident experience. Special maintenance, testing and care are indicated to improve the odds for proper QR functioning. Then there is the part involving the high tension powerlines. It is almost miraculous that things worked out as they did. The rider apparently wasn't effectively grounded and so wasn't electrocuted. Even more miraculous was the effect of the contact arching conveniently melting his spreader bar hook and thereby allowing the depowering of the kite.


82. Incident # 4 03 4 "Rigging Error Drops Rider Headfirst Into Road" Location: Poole, England, UK
Date: April 27, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder out for his first session of the new season, rigged up an unspecified kite, in gusty unspecified onshore winds near a roadway. Someone walked up to give him an assisted launch as he was setting up for solo launch. The first assisted launch resulted in the kite hitting the ground. The second launch the kite rocketed up and over the wind window, dragging the rider across the beach, over the nearby roadway and into the side of a parked car. The kite luffed then surged up in a new gust and lifted the rider up and over the car and dropped him head first into the middle of the roadway. The lofting extended over roughly 40 horizontally and 12 ft. high. The rider was taken to hospital with undesignated injuries.

Lessons learned

1. NEVER launch adjacent to a roadway, particularly with onshore winds. The rider could have walked well away from the roadway into the shallows.
2. Preflight your gear and then preflight it again. If winds are strong, no problems with preflighting a third time.
3. Try to acquire polar or "kook-proof kite line connectors.
4. If you are doing an assisted launch, insist that the rider launch from a reasonable location and examine the lines between the bar and kite before launching the rider.
5. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear.
6. ALWAYS USE A KITE LEASH. One report indicated that this rider didn't have a leash. So rather than let go of his kite, he hung in there through multiple impacts.

Commentary

This was an easily avoided accident, if the rider paid attention to a few details and good practice in launch selection. Careful preflighting is critical in avoiding this sort of problem. Lots of mistakes in this accident. A key one was choosing to ride without a kite leash. Many riders have chosen to hang on rather than depower their kite, because they couldn't depower. As a result many were injured.


81. Incident # 4 03 3 "No Buffer Zone Crashes Cars" Location: Marazion, England, UK
Date: April 21, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

A rider was seen to be flying a two line 7 m Naish AR3.5 about 10 m seaward of a wall. The water's edge was about 60 m from the wall at this time. The winds were about 11 to 21 kts. onshore. The rider lost control of his kite which dragged the rider over the seawall and fell into the roadway. At least one car suffered a collision in emergency braking attempting to avoid the kite. The car passengers involved in the collision collected the kiteboarder and hauled him off to the police station. The rider was wearing an impact vest but no helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Always try to maintain at least a 200 ft. (60 m) buffer zone downwind of hard objects, bystanders, etc. while launching, flying or landing your kite.
2. Launch with your kite close to the water, "Keep it low & GO! if appropriate for local conditions and get offshore without delay.
3. Develop strong kite control skills with a smaller training kite on land. Never fly a full sized traction kite on land for any longer than strictly necessary.
4. If you must launch near a roadway, consider finding another launch.

Commentary

Indifference to common sense will continue to injure kiteboarders, cause incidents and threaten kiteboarding access. Riders that insist of doing ill advised things put themselves, others and our access at risk. Obtaining the best quality, adequate professional kiteboarding training should help to minimize this sort of problems.


80. Incident # 4 03 2 "Tide and Wind Tie Up New Rider" Location: Exmouth, England, UK
Date: April 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 0


Summary

A novice kiteboarder launched an undesignated Naish Aero in 10 to 15 kt. offshore winds. The rider dropped the kite on the water but couldn't successfully relaunch. The tide and wind carried the kiteboarder away from shore. Eventually the kite lines tangled in two waterskiing buoys. The rider subsequently became tangled in the kite lines as well. The offshore wind and tidal current kept sufficient tension on the lines to stop the rider from being able to disentangle himself. The rider wasn't carrying a knife. Eventually the tide went out sufficiently to allow the kiteboarder to stand up. By this time he was fairly hypothermic, had swallowed a lot of water and had loss of ready hand control.

Lessons learned

1. Always kiteboard with others. Develop kiteboarding skills under safe wind, current, wave conditions that aid learning as opposed to impeding it.
2. Don't kiteboard in offshore winds or currents.
3. Always carry safety gear including one or more knives.
4. Wear adequate exposure clothing to address not only routine riding but also an extended period of time in the water should something go wrong.

Commentary

This accident could easy happen to anyone that came into the sport without much orientation or advanced training. There are substantial advantages to obtaining pro kiteboarding training in terms of speed of advancement and safety. You have the opportunity to focus on specific training needs while reducing the risk and interference of other factors that may not be obvious to new kiteboarders.


79. Incident # 4 03 1 "Kiteboarder Tangled Around Neck In Waves" Location: Essaouira, Morocco
Date: April 2003 Participant account included: Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A kiteboarder was out in light winds, approximately 8 to 12 kts. with a small chop with a 17 m kite. He had just jumped but stalled his kite which subsequently fell to the water. The rider couldn't relaunch the kite in the light winds. The rider then started to swim in towards shore when some larger waves came along and swept him into his kite lines. He was underwater with the lines tightened around his neck and the kite loaded up by a wave. He was being pulled by the kite with the lines around his neck that were also choking him. The kiteboarder struggled to release the lines while still underwater without success. Eventually he was able to slide his fingers under the line and start to loosen them. The lines cut through his wetsuit and into his neck slightly.

Lessons learned

1. Never place yourself in a position to where sudden loading of the lines by a kite relaunch or wave force cause the lines to come against or wrap a part of your body.
2. If you have a significant breaker line, consider properly winding up your lines**, deflating, rolling up and tying your kite. If significant waves break over you consider allowing the kite and bar wash away from you.
3. Always wear gloves and carry knife(s) that will cut through both flight and leader lines.
4. ** One idea about winding lines follows with a depowered kite. In order to wind up your lines, carefully wind AT LEAST one wing span length of two lines from the same side of the kite on to your bar. Then carefully wind all four lines on to the bar.
Tie the lines in place once there are wound up. Winding lines with an inflated, depowered kite is ALWAYS dangerous, particularly in higher wind and puts the rider at risk of line cutting or other misadventure. As such it should be approached with special care and awareness of the increased risk.

Commentary

Each case is different but kiteboarders should always work hard to AVOID the potential to become swept into or be tangle by leaders or flight lines. Carrying multiple knives would be a reasonable precaution. Once tensioned lines come in contact with your neck you are at a HIGH risk of serious injury. SPECIAL CARE SHOULD ALWAYS BE EXERCISED TO AVOID THIS FROM HAPPENING.


78. Incident # 2 03 1 "No Buffer Zone, Hit the Rocks" Location: Brisbane, Australia
Date: Feb. 25, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A novice kiteboarder was flying a 10 m Naish Aero II kite when winds gusting to 20 kts. blew the rider into a rock groin. The rider released his bar and depowered his kite after initial impact. The rider suffered a number of deep cuts above his eye and to his shin. A considerable quantity of blood was spilled in this accident. The rider hit board first thereby absorbing a fair amount of the impact force.

Lessons learned

1. New kiteboarders should secure adequate, good quality pro lessons.
2. Always wear safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest and other related gear.
3. ALWAYS HAVE AN ADEQUATE DOWNWIND BUFFER ZONE OF AT LEAST 200 FT. (60 m), if you are training even more particularly during gusty winds is advisable.
4. Avoid stronger gusty winds, say 18 kts. or higher while you are in the initial phases of learning kiteboarding.
5. Consider rigging a reliable, well maintained and regularly tested mechanical release for your center line or chicken loop.

Commentary

This was an easily avoided accident. However under the circumstances even an experienced rider might have been drawn into an accident. In kiteboarding "distance IS your friend," or as they say, "use it or lose it!" Lessons can save the rider from some frustration, possible damaged gear and even threatened riding access for the rest of us. Critically, it could save the new rider considerable pain if things go poorly.


77. Incident # 1 03 5 "Squall Lofts A Half Dozen English Riders" Location: Hunstanton, England, UK
Date: Jan. 2003 Participant account included: Yes Number of independent accounts: 4


Summary

A kiteboarder reported that there were about ten riders out in lighter conditions with a mix of clouds and sunny conditions. Winds were onshore 12 to 14 kts. This kiteboarder started on a 12 m Cabrinha Blacktip but changed to a 16 m X2 as the wind dropped. After changing kites he noticed a dark cloud moving in from offshore. The wind then picked up a bit and he was nicely powered. He just concluded that he "didn't like the look of the weather", when both he and several other kiteboarders were lofted. This rider was set down but was lofted again, he focused on keeping the kite over his head. He was being flown closer to the seawall or revetment along the shore so he steered over the beach. He hit the beach in a heap and activated his quick release thereby depowering his kite.

Another kiter struggled to release his kite and was repeatedly lofted and dropped on the beach. He finally managed to activate his kite leash VERY close to the seawall or revetment along the shoreline. This rider suffered badly bruised ribs and minor cuts.
Another guy was lofted then dropped hard on the beach and released his kite to fly away downwind. It ended up on the roof of a house about 400 yds. away. He complained of substantial back pain and was later diagnosed as having a compressive spine injury.
The rider that provided this account then went into the water to help other riders and noticed that the beach was strewn with kites, boards and bags. Within ten minutes the sky had cleared completely without any clouds in sight. The wind resumed blowing at about 15 to 16 kts.

The rider reported having kited at Hunstanton for over 2 years every week and has seen the odd squall but nothing like this one in which winds bumped from 14 to 50 kts. very suddenly. There was no mention of squalls in the weather forecast for this date.
Another rider had noticed storm clouds about 3 miles offshore and some dark low clouds moving in but conditions didn't look bad enough to warrant coming in. In about 30 seconds one of the riders went from being slightly underpowered on a 12 m X2, to being at lofted 20 to 30ft high and dragged about 100ft downwind. Winds may have been on the order of 40 to 50 mph. This kiteboarder was using a the side release shackles which didn't release and I was lofted again a similar distance and then used the QR on the X2 bar to successfully drop his bar and depower his kite. As this kiteboarder was swimming in he noticed 5 or 6 other guys with kite ranging from 12m to 16m, all being lofted from the sea onto the beach with the kites landing all over the place. The rider thought that a couple of the kites snapped from their leashes and ended up in the trees.

Lessons learned

1. Review Internet and TV weather radar, realtime wind and forecasts to evaluate the possibility of squalls. Monitor weather all around you continuously while your kite is in the air.
2. NEVER kiteboard in or near squalls. Winds may die or could boost upward by a factor of 2 to 6 or more, change direction, lightening could strike.
3. If you see suspicious clouds moving in, land, anchor and remove the lines from your kite BEFORE any change in temperature or wind speed.
4. If you misjudge things and wait too long, DO NOT WAIT to be on or nearshore to depower your kite, depower it as soon as feasible. It is better to have to swim a reasonable distance than to risk a serious lofting.
5. If you are lofted and land briefly, depower your kite at all costs as rapidly as possible during the lull. It could easily be followed by another strong gust.
6. Be sure to use a properly rigged, tested and maintained quick release mechanism. The Wichard 2673/2674 has reported fairly good release reliability characteristics.

Commentary

Squalls are common in many areas around the world. Kiteboarders that are indifferent to this hazard will likely have gear damage, lose a kite or potentially be injured one of these days. The KSI lists MANY accidents caused by riding in squalls. More information for weather planning in the UK appears at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7685
and in the USA at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7646


76. Incident # 1 03 4 "Careless Kiteboarders Arrested" Location: Mexico
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An instructor was teaching on the beach nea the site of an upcoming kiteboarding event. The instructor was reportedly visiting Mexico from Portugal. The instructor was teaching a student with a two line foil of unspecified size in about 18 mph. No depowering leash was in use on this kite. The lesson was given in a congested area of the beach with bystanders all around. The student lost control of the kite and eventually dropped the control bar. The kite flew away at speed with the control bar striking a child, the lines in turn wrapped around her. She was dragged into hard impact at speed against a palapa or beach structure. The child suffered substantial injuries in this accident however the details about her specific injuries are not known. The authorities concluded that the instructor was aware of the hazard and he was negligent. As a consequence the instructor was arrested and placed in jail.

Lessons learned

1. Always keep a safe buffer zone between the kiteboarder and bystanders. Two kite line lengths or more is a commonly used guideline.
2. Always use a properly configured, tested and maintained kite depower leash.
3. Instructors of a necessity must be more responsible and clear sighted about potential hazards than students. Research your instructors well and select them carefully.

Commentary

Another instructor from the USA spoke with the instructor that contributed to this accident in the past about following reasonable safety procedures, using a kite leash and keeping adequate distance away from others. The instructor reportedly laughed at the well intended USA instructor for his efforts and ignored his suggestions. Several people recorded in the KSI chose to ignore well intended advice from more experienced kiteboarders. As a result many were injured and at least one was killed. Caution and listening to good advice make sense in a new potentially hazardous activity. This sport is not as easy as it looks. Kiteboarders that ignore this may cause harm to others as in this case and to themselves. Going to jail for poor judgment is no picnic. Overconfidence and carelessness can earn all sorts of reality checks and punishments. Hurting others in the course of this is inexcusable. Lots of riders have concluded that they don't need kite leashes and particularly with foils. This avoidable accident proves them wrong. There are far more inflatable kites in use than foils these days. An inflatable kite can travel much further at speed and with full power than a foil. ALL KITEBOARDERS NEED TO USE TESTED KITE LEASHES AND KEEP RESPONSIBLE DISTANCES FROM OTHERS.


75. Incident # 1 03 3 "Bystander Launches Rider Into Dune" Location: Cornwall, England, UK
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1


Summary

A new kiteboarder had just solo launched an oversized kite for existing wind conditions. He proceeded to try to solo land his kite when he noticed that his kite lesh had come undone. As usual the leash lay just beyond the rider's reach despite his extensive efforts to grab it. The kiteboarder then asked a bystander for help. The bystander grabbed the leash line but then pulled on it. This looped the kite into the power zone thereby lofting the rider. He hit the beach and was lofted again. The rider then managed to get out of the chicken loop at this point and released his kite. The kite flew off and landed in a camp site. The rider dislocated his hip, requiring hospitalization and traction for several weeks. The kiteboarder wants to return to riding as soon as he can. The rider was reportedly not wearing a helmet.

Lessons learned

1. Always secure adequate pro kiteboarding instruction to minimize the hazards and speed your rate of improvement in kiteboarding.
2. Make sure that your kite leash attachment is secure and will not pull away prematurely by accident.
3. Be very reluctant to use uninitiated bystanders for any assistance. There have been cases of unexpected and unpredictable responses that have resulted in incidents and accidents.
4. Always wear a good helmet, impact vest and other safety gear.
5. Always ride with others.

Commentary

This accident could have been hard to predict. Yet, other kiteboarders have been drawn into accidents and incidents by attempting to secure help from nearby non-kiteboarders. Some of the injuries as in this case have been serious. If you ride with other kiteboarders there is a much better chance that someone with reasonable familiarity with the do's and don'ts of kiteboarding will be around to help. If the rider struck head first a serious head injury could have easily resulted. Routine use of safety gear is indicated.


74. Incident # 1 03 2 "Too Shallow, Shackle Fails, Rider Seriously Injured" Location: Cabarete, D.R.
Date: Jan. 20, 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2


Summary

An experienced kiteboarder visiting from Europe was riding in 15 to 20 kt. onshore winds, in very shallow water near shore when his board fin struck bottom. He tumbled, fell over and pulled his kite into the center of the powerzone. He was dragged at high speed inland across the sand. He was seen to be pulling his snap shackle in an attempt to release his bar and depower his kite. The shackle released but it snagged on the rubber covering of the chicken loop and held tight. The rider was dragged head first into a wall and was severely injured. He was not reported to be wearing a helmet. He was not carrying ID so there was a delay in identifying the kiteboarder. He was reportedly using a side release snap shackle connected directly over the chicken loop.

Lessons learned

1. Snap shackles MUST be properly rigged, well maintained and frequently tested to IMPROVE the odds for proper release in an emergency. Side release snap shackles are commonly considered to be INAPPROPRIATE for kiteboarding use.
2. Given the uncertainty of proper function of quick release mechanisms in emergencies pains should be taken to AVOID conditions that might lead to an emergency.
3. Riding in onshore winds has a higher incidence of injuries.
4. Kiteboarders should NEVER ride in water shallow enough to come near striking bottom. Even more water depth is required to compensate for a poor jump landing to avoid possible injury from hitting bottom.
5. All kiteboarders would benefit from wearing a proper fitting, good helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle, knife(s), carefully tested kite leash, etc.
6. Kiteboarders should carry a laminated copy of a photo ID and with friends.

Commentary

Small errors in judgment can have serious consequences when things go wrong. Riding in too shallow water, in onshore winds, without safety equipment, with an improperly rigged snap shackle is REALLY stacking the deck against long term safety.
Often you might get away with it but not always as this sad accident demonstrated. Safety gear and riding are governed by individual choice, do your research and choose well.

[b]
73. Incident # 1 03 1 "Potentially Serious Oz Lofting" Location: Dolls Point, Sydney Australia
Date: January 2003 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 1
Summary

An experienced rider had just launched his 14 m Toro II kite in steady 15 kt. side onshore winds while standing near the water with his kite inland near a car parking lot. He was about 20 m (65 ft.) from a concrete wall that bordered the parking lot along with a number of tall trees. The rider had tried to lock his chicken loop on to his harness hook using the plastic tube that is stitched into the chicken loop assembly. The rider then bends over to pickup his board that is on the ground beside him. The plastic tube was apparently not properly seated in place and released the chicken loop from the spreader bar. This fully powered up the kite, as the rider was holding the bar with only one hand this steered the kite at speed into the power zone. The kiteboarder was lofted a few feet into the air and was then slammed down on to the beach about ten feet away. The kite then dragged the rider towards the concrete wall bordering the parking lot at speed. The kite fortunately tangled in one of the trees bordering the parking lot stopping his rapid passage towards the concrete wall. The overall horizontal distance of travel was approximately 30 ft. The rider apparently hung on to his bar throughout the accident with one hand only and no other connection. The riders kite was badly torn but he suffered no injury. He was not wearing a helmet or impact vest.

Lessons learned

1. For many launch areas, launching with your kite near the water with you standing upland is generally safer with properly preflighted gear. It is even better if both the rider and the kite are in the water at time of launch.
2. Make sure your tested quick release mechanism is properly secured, free of sand or other irregularities that might impair function. It is not certain if this rider was using a pin quick release or perhaps no quick release at all. Some 2001 bar models had only the retaining plastic tube with no pin release assembly. If you are using a pin release, research test and performance information to verify that it has a reputation for proper release even under load.
3. It is generally safer to pickup your board at the water's edge with your kite flying offshore.
4. Consider launching and landing unhooked.
5. Always wear and good helmet, impact vest, etc.
6. Mentally and physically rehearse, JUST LETTING GO of your control bar in emergencies.

Commentary

This rider made an easy error in failing to properly secure his chicken loop with the plastic retaining tube. The problem is that his launch setup was configured to amplify the accident into a potentially very serious situation. If the rider had launched with his kite near the water he would have merely been dragged into the water.
It is important the riders be deliberate and cautious in kiteboarding, PARTICULARLY during the launch and landing times. Most serious accidents appear to happen during these times. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER launching and landing unhooked. If something serious happens, just let go and depower your kite using your kite leash.


COPYRIGHT 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 FKA, INC.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-05-2004, 01:28 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,258
Default

ccc
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-05-2004, 01:28 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,258
Default

ccc
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Do not advertise outside of [COM] Forums.
Do not show disrespect for others in your postings.
Users can be denied access to this Site without warning.
FKA, Inc., it’s officers and moderators are not responsible
for the content of the postings and any links or pictures posted.

Report Problems by PM to “administrator” or via email to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

Copyright FKA, Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved.