A short summary of losses in 2009 based on reported information
21 kiters were reported lost out of a total of 113 fatalities, (19%), since 2000.
14 were lofted/dragged in reported winds of: 45 to 50 kts.+ (4) 40 kts. (1) 35 kts. (3) 30 kts. (1) 25 kts. (2) 3 unknown including one in "very powerful squall," another near a waterspout.
At least 57% perhaps more were killed in winds of 35 to 50 kts.+ (40 to 58 mph+).
7 were drowned - 3 following powered neck/head trauma (one in 45 kts., another in "strong gusty winds," one against a submerged rock in surf), 1 in a rip current, 1 perhaps related to poor health, 1 related to heart attack, 1 from a board impact.
A similar summary to that prepared in 2009, is being put together for 2010. These are the kitebording fatalities that I have heard about to date worldwide.
2010 - 12 2009 - 23 2008 - 14 2007 - 18 2006 - 14
Unfortunately, unlike in years past not all kiteboarding fatalities are reported on kiteforum. Poor behavior may have contributed to this trend. It takes some searching in recent years to find record of some but likely not all such tragedies worldwide.
As horrific as any one such tragedy is, it is worse to consider what might happen if the information doesn't get passed on. Others may suffer the same sort of accident or serious injury for lack of awareness and understanding of what went wrong and how to try to avoid it. It is important to note that for each one of these losses, there are many more, 50, a 100 times more non-fatal severe accidents each year with similar causes. The same means of avoiding a fatal accident usually apply equally well to avoiding the non-fatal variety.
I would request that if people learn of kiting losses that they post them in kiteforum, PM ricki or email flkitesurfer at hotmail (dot) com.