A fatality occurred on January 6, 2010 involving a new kiteboarder. Sincere condolences and regrets go out to this man's family and friends.
Most of what is known about the accident is contained in a report posted by a local shop in Japanese. Sincere thanks to those that translated this detailed account into English. The original account in Japanese appears at:http://www.airjunk.jp/?p=315
and the English translation is as follows:
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 6th,2010, around 14:30 (2:30 pm)
Location : 30 meters offshore at Sakai beach in Tokoname city, Aichi prefecture
Victim: 30 years old, Male, 80 kg (176 ob), 4 months experience in kiteboading
Equipment of victim: Wearing semi-dry suit and gloves without helmet nor impact vest.
Kite used: 9m2 SLE (5 lines/5 ?)
Board used: 149x45.5cm with board leash (58.6 x 17.9 inches)
Water Depth: about 80cm/31 inches/2.6 feet
Temp: 7 celsius / 44.6F
Wind: Ave. 9m/sec (12 kts.) Max 12m/sec (23 kts.)
Wind direction: blow from West NW, NW
Wave: White wave seen offshore, however the area of incident had no wave
Tide: High tide 9:52 215cm, Low tide 16:00 70cm (Measured at Nagoya port)
The victim (A) arrived around noon with other 3 people at the beach.
He started setting and riding around 13:30 with another person (B: who found his body later). Other 2 people waited at the beach.
The wind was cross on – onshore and they were riding parallel with the shoreline.
At the beginning, it was difficult to catch upwind, therefore they walked towards offshore when they came close to the beach.
Around 14:30, A and B just passed by each other. Then when B turned around and came back towards A, B noticed something wrong with A (* probably means B was missing A).
He went back to the shore and told 2 others. One person jumped into the water for rescue, the other person called the police. There was no witness when the incident happened.
At the point from 30 m away from the shore, A was found. His face and stomach was down and the body was floating. His kite was still flying up in the air. Late on, it came down slowly reached nearby the shore.
His body was turned over immediately and a large amount of water came out from his mouth. He was unconscious and not breathing.
The Chicken loop connected to harness was released to make the kite released.
The kite was caught by B.
A seemed to swallow large amount of water and his chest was enlarged. His upper body was too heavy to get lifted up by one person.
B and another person (who rescued A) lifted up A to the beach and started heart massage.
3 minutes after calling police, the rescue team arrived. They attempted mouth to mouth ventilation, heart massage, AED, water suction rom windpipe(?) during his transportation.
They arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later after rescue started.
At 17:00, A was confirmed to be dead. The cause was drowning.
<Police Report issued after investigation>
There was an accident that the corner of the board hit victim’s neck which caused concussion of the brain and make A unconscious. Then he fell down on his stomach and ended up drinking water which is suspected to cause him drowning.
< Guessing work of accidental situation>
Judging from his riding situation/condition, it is hardly considered as there was a crash caused by AIR? or some kind of tricks. Around the incident area, there were a lot of sea weeds floating and it was hard to walk around.
It is suspected that, when A took of the board and his feet touched the bottom, he lost balance and the board hit his neck. Or another assumption was that ,when A was body-dragging and then he put his feet onto the ground, his board was floating or flying and hit his neck.
There was no scar or injuries found on his neck, it is hardly considered that the board hit him hard.
According to the doctor, if the board hit 2 cm away from the point, it did not cause such problem.
Even wearing helmet or impact vest could not help this accident at this time. There is no evidence if the board leash was main cause of this accident.
Further information and discussion about the accident in Japanese appears at: http://phantompower.at.webry.info/201001/article_4.html