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Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

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Toby
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Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Toby » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:23 pm

Gunnar Biniasch almost died on the water...he has an important message we ALL should follow !!!

"In the beginning I made this video to work though what happened, but I feel that everyone can learn something from this."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVzePBzOApA

phpBB [video]

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Toby
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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Toby » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:26 pm

so happy you made it alive!

And thanks for sharing your story...I still can't believe people left you on your own!

It should be everyone's honor to help a fellow kiter in a case of emergency...always look out for each other...no matter if on land or water.

We need each other.

And if you don't care (listen to comments Gunnar mentions from his FB, these people really exist!) then go play golf !!!!

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby BWD » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:01 pm

It’s a danger that kiting has evolved to where it has a dual nature.
One one side you see local (more or less) communities of riders who are aware of dangers in their spots, and usually include people with many years experience, who support each other and are conscious of risk, and are able and willing to rescue each other. This is how it is in most places that people kite, but these are not the places with the highest number of riders.

On the other side, places like obx, canaries, etc., 3/4 of the people you see kiting (and 90% at some times of year) are tourists, some are newbies, some are experts, many have most of their experience in places with kite shops, gear rental and rescue boats. In these cases, not all, but some riders just expect to be taken care of (they have paid for it!) and expect all other riders will be taken care of, too. They feel less responsibility, their $50 fee covers that, dude... they tune out and mow the lawn or practice tricks without much thought for their surroundings or others (unless someone is “in their way”). I have seen glimpses of this attitude in obx and some other spots in the world, but at most spots it’s not the rule.
I think it’s more of a problem, the more regulated and controlled, the more resort-like the destination, where people only expect to do certain things at certain spots, and don’t have the attitude if a sailor or surfer out in the ocean. This attitude and style are dangerous.

What is sad about Gunnar’s accident is that it seems there were at least 2 rescue services that could have seen him, and a bunch of kiters and probably instructors as well as people on the beach, and he got no reaction for a long, long time.

Assessing the description of the accident, it is likely that he was only unconscious or semiconscious for a few seconds to a minute. Often airway protection reflexes are preserved in brief unconsciousness/concussion scenarios, even when the victim cannot control their
body and remains totally amnesic or semiconscious. I am very thankful for this, having rescued someone from surf in this state.

Thanks Toby and Gunnar for sharing this story.
Please be careful out there and look out for each other!

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Toby » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:10 pm

but the tourists you mention are locals somewhere too, no?
Or do you mean the people who only kite when abroad?

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Pemba » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:23 pm

Aren't there rules/laws for this ? For at least windsurfing there is a clear sign for "distress". Are you actually allowed to just ignore a boat/kiter "in distress" ? Off course everybody can say I didn't see him, I thought his kite was just down but he was fine etc etc. But if people are actually not bothered writing down that this sort of thing is not their responsibility/problem, then something is very wrong, maybe schools should pay more attention to this sort of situation.

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby ThickAir » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:49 pm

Toby, you are absolutely correct - we all SHOULD watch out for each other. However, it must be stated over and over again, you cannot COUNT ON someone coming save you if everything goes sideways. Try to be as self-sufficient as possible. If you are going to kite a half-mile out, you damn sure better be able to comfortably swim at least twice that far. Kiting in off-shore winds as Gunnar was? All bets are off.

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Beardytello » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:52 pm

Glad you're not dead Gunnar.

Did you say this was at Flag beach? I was planning a trip there next year. Worrying to think a rescue might be delayed or none existent...I had a line snap this morning actually, only safety though so I was lucky enough to be able to get in, it was 6am at my local beach and no one around....makes you wonder!

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby Greenturtle » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:01 pm

His wearing a floatation type impact vest made all the difference here.

Im always surprised how many people think floatation is unnecessary, some will even ridiculously say it is more of a danger to wear it, Or “just make sure you are a strong swimmer” Well what if you are injured?, unconscious?, how strong will you swim then?

This story proves the obvious- you can get knocked out kiting, and if you do, you will drown without (proper) floatation.

A proper floatation vest has more foam in the front, thus positioning the unconscious person face up in most scenarios.

I come from a whitewater kayaking background, where your pfd is the most important piece of gear you own. Why this is not the case in the kiting world always surprises me, as this sport can (and does) take you far from shore, and the very nature of it increases the likelihood of injuries vs other water sports where wearing pfd’s is already standard practice.

Most kiters I have seen do not wear a pfd or even an impact vest. They are taking a much bigger risk than they realize.
Even if you are spotted and someone does make their way over to help, it will be too late without proper floatation.

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby John Doe » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:08 pm

Glad you made it. You are 1000% right to make this video. We all need a reminders on this. It is bullshit that nobody came to check on you.

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Re: Important Message: I almost died - Gunnar Biniasch

Postby SalmonSlayer » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:13 pm

I have spent over 25 years working as a commercial fisherman, which has allowed me to develop an awareness that most kite boarders just dont have. I make it a point to not expect anything from them. I suspect that I have learned to be more aware of others on the water, not only due to the water time spent, but also as a conditioned response from bad experiences. It does not take too many experiences where something bad happened because your head is not on a swivel to create a higher level of awareness out of fear if nothing else. Telling kiteboarders that they need to be more aware will only have a short term value at best. It even happens with personal safety. Locally, we will hear about a kiter at one of our beaches getting a head wound from his board. This leads to much discussion about safety and the importance of wearing a helmet. People start wearing their helmets, but then quickly fall into old habits. The same will happen when watching this video. Most will speak of the importance of watching out for others, but it quickly gets forgotten. a few things can help such as kiting down wind instead of upwind of other kiteboarders. If their back is to you and they are not looking over their shoulder, that is all it will take to put you in a danger. Things can happen fast on the water. You have got to respect the sea.


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