Toby wrote:if I see someone death looping I will try to save them. Sure, prevention if possible.
That's why I also ride an 18 ! no death looping there!
I initially had the idea of hitting the looping kite with my board...this way I wouldn't get into trouble myself, specially when trying to catch it...
Using a knife and cutting lines is another tuff task to do while your kite is up.
So, we also need to talk about what the bystander can do, not only the person in trouble.
Yes, as you 1st stated in the title of your Original Post: You were wondering, how could I have helped that person being dragged to their death? Right? Shouting release! at them might not work because if they haven't released already there might be some reason. Only 3 more loops and the poor unfortunate person gets rammed headfirst into THE FEEDING CHUTE OF A GIANT REVVED UP TREE CHIPPER! I gotta do something quickly! I can see the poor soul is frantically thumbing his remote kite exploder but as luck would have it, the battery has gone flat.
I have found most realistic, effective way is put yourself at risk by going straight for the kite and grabbing it by the leading edge and dragging it upwind.
It's sometimes not that difficult, but you don't want to miss that 1st attempt. In most cases it's the quickest sure fire way to neutralize a looping kite. I have grabbed kites that way while flying mine (had to). Fellow kiters have done the same for me a few times as well. So far so good. I guess if its freewheeling in 40 knots theres no way, but in most cases the kite is catching on the sand or water briefly and thats when you can get it.
THEN you can go scold the guy for not ditching. I guess this method could go horribly wrong. But with that much adrenaline running, in my experience, you catch the kite and it's done.