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 Post subject: German Kiteboarding Fatality, second thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:53 pm 
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I have started a new thread dealing with the fatality in Germany out of respect for the family and friends of the lost rider. Thanks to Toby for posting initial details and links to information about this sad accident. I have tried to do very crude translations using automatic Internet translation engines as shown below.

Does anyone have wind records near the area for the time of the accident?

Toby wrote:


Poor Automatic Internet Translations follow. I have tried to guess at poorly translated segments with my own text depicted as (xxx?).


Berlin surfer dies in paraglider accident on Fleesensee
At the beginning of back far one end
17.06.2004

Fleesensee,
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Goehren Lebbin (dpa) - in an accident with a paraglider (traction kite?), at the Wednesday evening in the Mueritzkreis a 60-jaehriger (60 year old?), surfer died from Berlin. According to data of the police the screen (kite?) of the man on the Fleesensee was seized with Goehren Lebbin(while riding off of Goehren Lebbin?), by a gust of wind, while the surfer only few meters slid far away from the bank over the water (the accident occurred while another kiteboarded offshore only a few meters away?). It (The Kiteboarder?) was hurled at country (land?), hit against a fahnenmast (flagpole?), and died short time later in a hospital.

Strong wind
It concerns an experienced surfer out of Berlin Wilmersdorf, which was on own fist on the way, it was said. "it had waited that the partly strong wind abates, and in the evening despite warnings out-drove already all day long", said a coworker of a local Surf and sail school (A coworker from the local kiteboarding school said that he had waited until strong wind that had been blowing all day, diminished to launch that evening despite high wind warnings?). The surfer was much too close in view of the dominant wind conditions on the bank on the way (too close to the land in strong, unstable onshore wind conditions?),. The flat beach is one of the few at the Mecklenburgian sea-plate (seaboard?), which is certified for the Kite Surfen in such a way specified (this is one of the ONLY authorized kiteboarding launches in the area?). But it requires as when water AI driving a special permission. (Special permission to ride is required when strong weather conditions are present?)

Wind force 6-8 (22 to 40 KNOTS ONSHORE?)
"we determine still the exact cause, go however at present from an accident", said the director/conductor of the Warener kriminalpolizei, Friedhelm Nofz. The had an accident one suffered strong internal injuries in the case of the impact at the mast. At the Fleesensee wind forces between six and eight prevailed, said a speaker of the German weather service at the misfortune time. The wind reaches top speed up to 75 kilometers per hour (41 kts.).

A risky kind of sport
Accidents with the Fun kind of sport, with which with the paraglider (traction kite?), higher speeds than with are to be achieved the conventional Surfen, are not rare. (accidents are not uncommon in kiteboarding?) Only 2003 died at the Baltic Sea coast one of the best sportlerinnen of this kind of sport, when she was torn up and on buhne impacted.

NOTE: there may be an English version on the Boot.de website but I was unsuccessful in finding it.

and

Goehren Lebbin (dpa) in an accident with a paraglider (a traction kite?),- the Kite Surfen - died a 60-jaehriger citizen of Berlin on the Fleesensee with Goehren Lebbin. According to data of the police the screen(kite?), in the proximity of Goehren Lebbin was seized by a Boee (wind gust?). The water sportsman was hurled at country (land?), hit against a fahnenmast (a flag pole?), and died later in a hospital.


Last edited by RickI on Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:03 pm 
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There are some similarities between this far more severe accident and one in Wales a couple of years ago listed in the KSI. Although the rider in Wales was seriously injured, he did survive.

55. Incident # 9 02 2 "Launch Miscommunication Injuries Rider" Location: Rhosneigr, North Wales
Date: September 7, 2002 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 2

Summary

A very experienced rider had been kiteboarding earlier in the day well powered in relatively steady Force 5 (17 to 21 kts.), onshore winds. It was high tide so the normally very wide beach was relatively narrow at about 12 m (40 ft.) ending at a seawall. He was going to have an assisted launch of his Airush 9.4 m four line LEI kite. He had chosen to launch rapidly, near the seawall area as opposed to further down the beach away from these downwind hard objects. During the assisted launch the rider yelled "NO" but the assistant thought he said "GO" and released the kite.

What the assistant could not see but the rider had was that the lines on one side of the kite in strumming in the wind had tangled. The kite flew up at high speed and arced over into the center of the power zone out of control. The rider was dragged into the approximate 1.5 m (5 ft.), high seawall. At that point his was lofted and flown over the seawall, slamming into the top of a 4 inch diameter fiberglass flag pole at a height of about 5 m (16 ft.) and broke the pole with his body. He was then flown over some cars and into the side of a panel truck, badly denting the side of the vehicle. There was a six foot high brick wall immediately beyond the truck which the rider would have hit if not for the panel truck. The rider was connected to or hooked into his quick release chicken loop but didn't have time to detach prior to the first impact. He was not wearing a helmet or impact pfd. The overall horizontal distance of travel was estimated to be about 40 m (130 ft.).

The rider was in severe pain, placed on oxygen and rushed to the hospital by ambulance. His injuries included a fractured pelvis and femur, rib and nicked cheek. Amazingly he did not suffer serious head injury. It has been reported that he should heal fully in time.

Lessons learned

1. Always communicate clearly with trained kiteboarding assistants. Using a signal dialog such as described in:
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/ki ... EFERENCES/
could potentially avoid further launch related accidents caused through miscommunication. There other cases in the KSI of problems caused by misunderstandings during this critical phase of kiteboarding.
2. Always be methodical and as slow as necessary in setup, preflighting and launching. Refer to the steps described in the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines and other appropriate practices to try to improve your kiteboarding safety.
3. Always walk a bit further away if a more appropriate launch area is present. One that lacks downwind hard objects, bystanders, vertical surfaces that may cause uplift and other potential hazards. "Distance is your friend" in kiteboarding. Downwind hard objects are reportedly not a serious issue as a rule for most locations at this launch.
4. If you decide to hook or snap shackle into your chicken loop or harness line, even with a quick release function, you should assume that someday you will be injured by this practice. I safer course of action is never to hook in or connect to your control bar during launch.
5. Always wear safety gear including at a minimum a good helmet appropriate for kiteboarding, an impact pfd, hook knives, whistle and gloves.
6. Be particularly cautious in onshore winds. Choosing not to launch in such winds may save you injury someday, regardless of your level of skill. This rider was reported the most experienced kiteboarder at this launch.

Commentary

This was another unfortunate, avoidable accident. If fortune had not been with this rider he could have very easily been killed, at several points in this accident. Probability dictates that we will have only so many narrow escapes along with other less fortunate accident outcomes. We really need to take the power and potential hazards of this sport in all seriousness. Review and follow the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines and other appropriate practices. In many of these accidents it isn't one serious error in judgment that causes things to come to harm but several. Things like rushing to launch, launching upwind of hard objects, flying in onshore winds, launching hooked in, not wearing a helmet or impact pfd, not preflighting, not using agreed launch signal dialog, etc. We really need to approach this sport with more care otherwise every once in a while a rider will be injured.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:45 am 
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don't know the exact loaction.

Here is an idea of the wind, maybe it was a day later, don't know exactly.

http://www.windfinder.com/wind-cgi/stat ... 2004-06-15

The reports say 6-8 Bft, 20-35 knts.

Greets
Toby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:55 pm 
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I wanted to respond to this here ...

jherm wrote:
Actualy this accident reminds me of hang gliding and one of a few reasons why i quit that sport. I had heard of too many accidents that involved so-called "experienced" and "seasoned" pilots who got killed because they did something unbelievably stupid: They went flying on a day when their experience should have grounded them.

John


Too true, remember all the guys that were in a hurry to cliff launch. The glider was all setup, guy wires tensioned, battens in place and off the cliff they ran ... only to learn seconds later that they forgot to attach their hang strap. (For non-hangliders the hangstrap is what transfers your body weight to the center of gravity of the glider and allows you to steer by pivoting your body weight)

No hang strap means you are hanging down pulling your glider into a power dive with no great odds of being able to do much about it as you fall at high speed to the cliff base. PREFLIGHTING and a hang check can really save your bacon.

Then there were the guys that just would "do it." That is hang glide with no real training, weather planning or monitoring; launch, flight area or landing zone characterization for safety, e.g. the launch area throws off rotor, the landing zone has major wind gradient as you near the ground which will stall a wing tip causing the glider to pin wheel in, guys would choose to fly in more demanding weather conditions than their experience and in some cases their glider would support and some were caught in their mistaken judgment, etc.. Early on, pilots sometimes didn't repair damage in time they just flew and sometimes had a failure in flight and on and on ...

In 1974, there were about 40 hang glider fatalities in the USA.

In 2002, I understand that there were NONE. Why?

Equipment has improved, safety gear exists and is more reliable, training goes well beyond the "nuts & bolts" but actually gets into weather, safe flight area characterization, emergency planning, etc.

Some activities are complicated by nature, flying is EASY the staying whole and healthy part can be complex.

The same could be said about kiteboarding, believe it or not. We keep proving this in new, painful ways. Start doing more than just "doing it" or prepare to potentially be "done" resulting in an incident or injury. Something to think about.


Last edited by RickI on Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:50 am 
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here's what the article sais:

Fleesensee (lake fleschen?),
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Goehren Lebbin (dpa) - in an accident with a paraglider, on Wednesday evening in the Mueritzkreis a 60 year old, surfer from Berlin died. According to data of the police the kite of the man on the Fleesensee near Goehren Lebbin was seized by a gust of wind, while the surfer was gliding through the water only a few meters away from shore. he was hurled aashore, hit a flagpole and died short time later in a hospital.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:37 am 
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with Paraglider they ment a kitesurfing kite.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:47 pm 
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I did not ear any news of this accident last week here in Hamburg, but now that I read this new fatality in the Baltic Sea I am worried. A couple of days before that fatal accident I had mine accident as well, and always on the Baltic Sea, on the 15 June Grossbrostel (or something like that, anyway before the Fehmarn bridge).

I was on the beach ready to go, but honestly overpowered. I asked to a kitesurfer on beach to take my kite to start it in those rough conditions (I think 22 knodes more or less, mostly side). The guy took my kite but he left it mostly immediately (after he said he could not hold it any more...). The kite was in full power in half a second, I started to fly in the direction of the dune, immediately I realized that the situation was critical I released the safety (North bar) and I felt down no the beach, rolling and thoumblig. I hit my head on the sand, my back on the dune, but (thatnks to my girlfriend) I had the helmet.

The front tube exploded (I do not have any idea how), I got a neck protection for a couple of days plus a pain in the back for 4 days.

I was really scared my friends... :-?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:35 pm 
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good to hear you are alright.
The beach is called "Großenbrode"
http://www.kitebeaches.com/kitebeaches/ ... hp?id=1321

Never rely on the people launching and landing a kite.
Always be prepared to release, you never know.
Sometimes I fear loosing a kite when I help to launch or land.
be ready for that moment and have the hand on the trigger or immediately detach from the kite (that's what I do when the kite has been grabbed).

Greets
Toby


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