Yes this guy is very very lucky and i hope he will recover for 100%.
Had 4 weeks ago also a serious accident with onshore wind at the Lake of Annecy in France. Very strong wind, but thought I could manage to kite upwind in these conditions and after 100 m from starting place the coast bends 90 degrees so there wouldn't be onshore conditions. A guy helped me out into the water, because with that strong wind it wasn't easy to get out into the water alone. After I took of I felt the wind was also very strong for the small kite I used and it was difficult to get upwind, also because of breaking waves. I saw downwind a landing stage I hadn't seen before, lost my board and bodydragged over the water in direction of the landing stage. Only thinking of how I could surfive this. Just hold the bar so I could prevent hitting the pier head first. This took place in a few seconds. I hitt the pier with high speed but lucky as I was, first with my feet and later arms and body, which was protected with a impactvest.
After the kite took air again, after a while I managed to release the kite. Some kind people helped me out of the water where I saw blood coming out of my left shoe. Thought of broken bones which torn my skin, so I took out my shoe (with muddy water). Big cut under my foot, but the shoe still ok. Went to the hospital where they took some x-rays. Nothing broken so the gave me 10 stitches and send me back to the campingplace where I stayed, hoping I could drive back after 1 or two weeks. Not possible, so somebody else drove me home. Back home I went again to a hospital for X -rays. 3 Footbones seriously broken. Wasn't possible to adjust them nice again. Operation wasn't possible because of the wound. So hope to recover although I won't have straight footbones anymore.
So why did I kite with onshore conditions?
I thought I could manage the windconditions and I wanted to kitesurf there, because there aren't many days with good winds overthere.
But because I wanted to kite, I underestimated the wind and hadn't seen this dangerous pier (threes, cars, etc.). Used a bigger board as usual, was totaly fucked up because I had been driving around 1,5 hour to find the right place.
Why didn't I use my safety?
I have been thinking if there was time enough to use it. I think I could have managed, but also held my bar to prevent hitting with my head first. If I had tried to release and wouldn't succeed doing this, it could have been worse. I'll never know. But after I hitt the pier, I wasn't able to release as a reflex, I had to look at the release and thinking wat to do. It took some time!!!
After recovering I'll be trying to release when dragged through the water, just for practising.