Here is a rough translation of the German posting and the Dutch posting. The Dutch translation is pretty rough, so it may not be totally accurate.
"Unfortunately a kitesurfer at the Brouwersdam in Holland suffered a fracture at the base of the skull from the use of a boardleash. In light winds (3 BF.)[~7-11 knots] and with a large kite (15-18m2) the kitesurfer made a jump near the shore, which ended in a fall. The leash hurled the board against the kitesurfer's head, who then immediately lost consciousness. Fortunately two other kitesurfers saw the incident and rescued the injured person. He regained consciousness at the beach and was flown to the hospital in Rotterdam."
"The kitesurfer is still alive, afterwards everything was ok. It is naturally serious enough, but he is not dead yet. The patient came to the emergency room breathing and conscious, ["(max. emv score)"], and abc was also in order [he could say the alphabet?]. The headwound was treated and the patient was transferred for observation and went through the ["molen"] [mill?]."
Yes, it is a very good thing that the news of his death was greatly premature! I was hoping that you could provide some additional details about the accident.
What would you estimate the wave height to have been? Was the wind onshore, did the rider hit bottom on falling and was the rider wearing a helmet? Finally and most importantly do you know how the rider is at present in his recovery?
On a related note I just read about another nasty skull injury caused by a leash in Maryland, USA. We really need to move away from leash use. Even if you are wearing a helmet, it may not fullly protect you against a really violent impact, as some have experienced already and it may not cover the area of impact, i.e. the base of your neck, face, etc.
Too true. Like many other issues in kiteboarding simple answers rarely hold. I would say if there are bathers nearshore, moderate to heavy seas and you are uncertain about rapid reliable board recovery before it gets into the bather zone, you should use a leash. Hopefully these conditions are relatively rare worldwide. If you use a leash you are at risk as has been clearly established by many accidents. A reel leash with an intervening regular leash or coiled leash may be the safest way to go. I am not crazy about using a reel leash alone as the board generally ends up very close to you in the water. Of course using as much safety gear, e.g. good helmet,impact pfd, gloves,etc. and proper technique that you can apply would be manditory.
Hopefully, conditions that demand use of a leash are rare. At the same time if you don't use a leash or use a part-time reel leash as I do, you need to be proficient at upwind body dragging. I can go closer to the wind while body dragging than while on the board as a rule so it is pretty efficient. Body dragging in high seas, with sideshore winds or with contrary currents that lead offshore may result in a lost board however. Temporary use of a reel leash in such conditions is what I have come up with to improve the odds of keeping my board.