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 Post subject: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:58 am 
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I thought to post my freak accident here as it looks like the most appropriate session (previously posted in a different topic)..

On a very windy day, gusty at over 40kn while I was out enjoying possibly one of the best session of the year, boosting good airs on my twin tip in what we call an 'epic session'. All of a sudden the CL of my RRD Obsession 7m came off unexpectedly (due to the weak and thin RRD donkey dick) and the kite instead to depower started looping until it crashed on the water and I begun recovering. The kite then relaunched fully powered and started looping faster than ever pulling me from the safety leash. At that point the bar snapped in mid air due to the crazy force and the looping kite turned into an helicopter like, deadly spinning machine... :angryfire:

While I was being pulled at high I was drinking so much sea water and so quickly, due to the splashes on the water surface :snow: . I couldn't pull the release handle as the leash was clipped to the hanldepass at the back of the harness and it was stuck somewhere were I could not reach or find. The safety knife in my harness was impossible to find either, as I never used it before and while literally drowning I couldn't get hold of it. I was trying to pull the harness off me but that was impossible too as the bar did not have a simple and fast release system... :cry1:

I was living my worst lifetime nightmare, of an happy life full of extreme sports experiences of all types, where safety has always come first and together with my good fit and skills, I never managed to be in a totally 'out of control' situation where you are just waiting to die helpless :peng: :worry: :shake:

I was heading fast, very fast towards shore, where concrete groyns and a promenade full of buildings were waiting for me. I looked around for help and I saw another kiter behind me, We look at each other and I was trying to ask for help while I suddenly I passed out and my body went underwater while being pulled towards shore by the frenzy kite. I drowned and reached shore lifeless, when my death ride finally came to an end, like mission was completed. Miraculously at this point I stop there and one of my mates manages to stop the freak kite landing it. The kiter in the water, followed me to shore and dumped his kite heading straight towards me, he pulled me off the water on the beach and saw me blue in the face, bloated and looking like a dead monster :-o . Luckily he didn't panic and he started immediately CPR. He used to be a windsurf instructor and he learned it in a training course.. :winner2: :yourock: :thanx: What an amazing guy, my life saving angel.. we've become friends now, he's a real special person. I feel so sorry for having put so much pressure and such a big burden on him!

All the bad luck that put me in such a freak accident all of a sudden turned into good, and an unprecedented and perfectly orchestrated team work of buddies, kiters and walkers by came together in such a desperate scenario to rescue me. Ben the kiter who rescued me together with Doug, my best buddy, performed over 2 minutes of CPR in a desperate way but still I didn't give any sign of life, or pulse, which together with the first minute or two when I was drowned, we were heading to a tragic end. They battled so much to bring me back until I finally started coughing out froth and swearing to my death :sun:. with my best buddy next to me, all the paramedics and an amazing tube blowing fresh oxygen into my lungs full of sea. What a fantastic job everyone did, I will never be thankful enough to all the people involved in my rescue. It's a miracle to be still here and to be able to tell this freak story. Thank you all amazing people of Brighton UK! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

I then also survived to what is called 'secondary drowning', while taken to the local hospital in intensive care, where I was given 50% chances to survive due to the amount of sea water in my lungs. 24 hours of oxygen later, I was given the total clear, I made it. According to the doctors my luck was not to be a smoker and be a fit man, who received an immediate CPR straight after drowning... :bravo: :clap: :cheers:

I've been so spooked out about this experience that I considered to give up kiting, but this thought was making me more and more unhappy and sad inside. It's hard to give up your biggest passion for a failure which you don't feel 100% responsible for. Yes I've made some wrong decisions like clipping the safety leash at the back of the harness, but mainly it was a gear failure and a combination of difficult circumstances :alarm:

One month and a week later, I went back to my passion and I feel my life complete again, but I need to regain confidence and change all my gear including kites, bars, harness and leashes :duh: This is an amazing step forward for me in such a short period of time, although it didn't quite feel the same as before. My physical scars are gone, the psychological is slowly healing, but this one might take more time. I'm so glad that I am alive and I am still part of this real special community of brave fighters :wink: 8).

So from now on, for me it's going to be all about SAFETY, more than ever before! :thumb:

My tips are:

1. NEVER CLIP YOUR LEASH TO THE BACK OF THE HARNESS.
2. NEVER GO OUT ON YOUR OWN OR IN REMOTE AREAS IN BIG CONDITIONS.
3. ALWAYS CARRY 2 KNIFES, ONE IN THE HARNESS AND ONE IN YOUR SHORTS OR AROUND YOUR NECK, AND ABOVE ALL GET FAMILIAR WITH THEM, TRAIN TO USE THEM FAKING EMERGENCY SCENARIOS.
4. THINK ABOUT SAFETY AND SAFETY SYSTEMS MORE, NOT JUST KITE FLYING SPECS. SAFETY IS NOT A BEGINNER ISSUE. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR RELEASE SYSTEMS, TRAIN HOW TO USE THEM AND TEST THEM BEFORE EACH SESSION.
5. DO NOT TRUST OR USE CHICKEN LOOPS WHICH CAN COME OFF, SOME OF THEM DO, AVOID THEM AS THEY CAN EASILY KILL YOU.
6. LEARN CPR, DO A COURSE OR ORGANIZE ONE LOCALLY FOR ALL SURFERS, YOU CAN SAVE LIVES.
7. LIFE IS ATTACHED TO A THIN STRING (JUST LIKE THE KITE LINES), APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE AND BE GRATEFUL AS YOU CAN LOOSE IT AT ANY TIME UNEXPECTEDLY. ENJOY THE MOMENT, THE NOW. SPREAD LOVE AND PEACE :peace:

KITE SAFE, ALWAYS :thumb: :surf: :hangloose:

I hope that this will help others... :party1:

PS.
There is a very interesting safety session on this website, go and read it.. I never paid any attention to it before... :chorus: :wink:


Last edited by mr moon on Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:07 am 
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That's scary! I'm glad to hear you survived! I thought you were supposed to hook your leash to that loop connected to the back of your harness. Where do you think it would be safer to connect?


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:58 pm
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on the front



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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:37 am 
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I'm all for people reading reports like yours as it does remind us that we need to avoid getting into situations we cant get out of.

Yours began with equipment failure and didn't end right due to a bad choice of safety setup.


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:22 pm 
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esg wrote:
That's scary! I'm glad to hear you survived! I thought you were supposed to hook your leash to that loop connected to the back of your harness. Where do you think it would be safer to connect?


Yeah unfortunately that's how most people are trained to do.. it seems like such a small detail in the whole gear set up, but it can easily kill you.

ALWAYS CLIP IT TO THE FRONT OR SIDE OF YOUR HARNESS :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Carrying 2 knives doesn't help if you cant reach the lines.

Its not that unusual to get a line wrapped on your ankle. You then need to be lucky enough for the kite to stop pulling so you can get at the line.

It bothers me because its a situation I haven't figured out the answer for yet.

I windsurf in the conditions where a wrap is more likely.


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:01 pm 
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It's not often one dies and comes back to life... all in one piece and faculties 100%... good on you and I hope you get back on the horse soon :thumb:

I've accidentally unhooked in strongish winds before, bar ripped from my hands, but thankfully my kite totally depowers in that situation with little chance of a kite looping scenario ( I hope ).

So I don't quite understand how accidentally unhooking can cause so much kite looping... obviously you have a different kite and safety system to mine.


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:42 pm 
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do people clip to there spreader bar? not sure where on my dakine renegade i could clip to the front?


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Location: PASA Level III Instructor FL- OBX - MI - the world
mr moon wrote:
Yeah unfortunately that's how most people are trained to do.. it seems like such a small detail in the whole gear set up, but it can easily kill you.

ALWAYS CLIP IT TO THE FRONT OR SIDE OF YOUR HARNESS :thumb:


poools81 wrote:
do people clip to there spreader bar? not sure where on my dakine renegade i could clip to the front?


Very scary story. Glad you survived to tell the tale Mr. Moon. I've seen this sort of thing happen several times.

IMO. Best to anchor your leash to the front (better than the side I think) of the harness with a strap - as supplied by a few brands, or make your own, or direct attach like the one supplied by Core Kites.

Knife: whether a hook-knife or like one shown...mount where you can get it with either hand, otherwise it may be useless to you.

leash strap: make your own with some dyneema and a stainless ring...NOTE: please sew larkshead loop at ring also
(or you can just use a climbers knot but I would still sew the bitter ends to prevent untying
Image

or...some brands supply a strap to secure around spreader bar
Image

or...direct connect leash to spreader works well... nice and simple
Image

I can reach this knife with either hand if necessary...don't forget to incorporate a lanyard.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: kite looping on deathride: I drowned, died and come back
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:49 am
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Location: shallow sea
mr moon wrote:
...On a very windy day, gusty at over 40kn while I was out enjoying possibly one of the best session of the year, boosting good airs on my twin tip in what we call an 'epic session'. All of a sudden the CL of my RRD Obsession 7m came off unexpectedly (due to the weak and thin RRD donkey dick) and the kite instead to depower started looping until it crashed on the water and I begun recovering. The kite then relaunched fully powered and started looping faster than ever pulling me from the safety leash. At that point the bar snapped in mid air due to the crazy force and the looping kite turned into an helicopter like, deadly spinning machine... :angryfire: ...

well, my experience with the looping "depowered" kite is not so dramatic, but given that kite was brand new fifth(!) generation Gaastra Jekyll, most unpleasant anyway.

first, almost all of the safety releases i made were during the quite innocent situations. kite fallen down from the sky in lulls (because the kite is built too heavy) or CL self unhooks (probably too soft or too short finger? with older CL there were no such unhooks).
so, since i was close to the beach, i wanted to disable the kite in order not to drag it on the beach. but instead the depowered kite starts to loop from time to time. when i started to wind up the depower (one of the front lines) line on the palm of my hand wind picked up sending the kite in loops again. i was really close to losing my fingers or at least skin from my fingers that time.
and as usual on the occasions like this on the beach there were nobody to help to apprehend the kite, just a few challenged Lenten wannabees concentrated on adjusting their board bindings and shouting to their girlfriends trying to launch their kites.

i think depower systems like this are total crap. i'm done communicating with gaastra, they are not appreciating the feedback, they are pretty much living in the facebook environment, where only one "I like" button exists.

next time i had to release the CL was in the overpowered conditions, so knowing the possible outcome i just relaxed and drifted to the beach. the kite got stuck in the bushes and i could wind up the lines in relative safety.

remember these stories when you buy new kites.
when you see those youtube clips about "how quick release works", don't believe them, it is always fart breeze in those movies. learn to know your safety systems.

PS: ironic isn't it? when you try to water launch your kite it is always somehow tricky. but the very same moment when you wish your kite stays in the water depowered it magically rises up and creates damage!


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