Here is a repost of something bizarre off the FKA list:
First I would like to thank Rick for all of his input and hard work on the
safety issue. Keep up the good work, we truly appreciate it. The post from
Toby on the kite forum was great, accurate info. I am a long time advocate
of snap shackle use, provided they are used properly. The pictures in that
post are good and very detailed.
I want to tell everybody about a crazy experience that I had on sunday which
actually led to the arrest of a psycho fisherman at our Fort Pierce launch.
Don and I had been out for about an hour riding on the south side of the
Fort Pierce jetty. The wind was very on-shore and, being a nice Sunday
afternoon, there were quite a few swimmers in the surf area, so we were
riding about 100 yds from shore. There was a guy shark fishing off the end
of the spur jetty, which extends about 100 yds from the main jetty at 90
degrees. He was using balloons to float his lines out away from the jetty.
While we were riding, this guy kept letting his line out further and further
thus closing the gap between his bait and the swimmers on the beach. It was
obvious that he was attempting to interfere with the our riding for whatever
reason, but we just kept to our little corridor and did not bother him.
I noticed the swell was beginning to break on the outside reef so I began to
tack upwind to get to it. As I came within shouting distance of the spur
jetty on one of my tacks, the fisherman yelled at me and signaled me to come
over. As I approached him (I came closer than I normally would have because
he was calling me) this guy picks up a rod (which I assume he had rigged
just for me) and slung a huge lure with three big treble hooks. The lure
wrapped my lines about two feet above my bar, just missing my head by
inches, and hooked my sheeting strap. The guy tried to actually reel me in
like a fish!! I powered my kite up and broke his line, the whole time he's
screaming obscenities and getting the attention of every beach goer there.
Then his fat wife got in the game and they both proceed to cast at me with
huge 5 oz lead sinkers! By now I'm doing everything possible to talk myself
out of killing this guy!
What I didn't know was that Don had gone to the beach to call 911 as soon as
he saw what happened. The cops showed up very quickly and thats when I came
to the beach. I explained to the officer what happened and everyone at the
beach was on my side. It was a great thing to see all the beach goers rally
on the side of the kitesurfers!
Anyway, the kook was charged with assault (his fat wife should have gotten
the same) and the rest of the day was perfect. It turns out this guy was
from Okeechobee and probably lacked in real world social skills. Maybe he'll
learn something in the clink.
So beware of the freaky shark fishermen, this story could have had a much
less pleasant outcome.
Cheers everyone and KITE SAFELY!
You are welcome! Safety reform is a group project, so thanks to everyone for focusing on this issue and tossing out a lot of very good ideas.
Yow, that story is a hoot! I have heard of similar stories but nothing so blatant and premeditated. Then throwing sinkers at you, what a couple of lunatics! I am glad that he was using a lighter test line that your were able to break and that those treble hooks didn't snag you. What was the charge, assult and battery with a surf rod and attempted battery with sinkers? I am glad that the rest of the day was peaceful and a good session.
It is too bad that the shark fisherman has it in for kiteboarders. It would help to pull some of those abundant spinners out of your shredding ground.
Glad you came out of it ok,