Anyone in or on the water near powerboats could potentially become involved in a collision. Swimmers, surfers, kayakers, windsurfers and lots of others have dealt with this issue for a long while. It would be good to talk over what can happen and how to try to avoid negative consequences in advance of such encounters.
I was reading the following the evening before last from a group that Peter Nordby was involved with. It involves a windsurfer fatality and several other boat-windsurfer incidents. It covers some good procedures that apply to kiteboarders as well.
I would also call attention to the Kiteboarding Scenario Account #1 - "Offshore Without a (Flying) Kite"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... EFERENCES/
This KS goes into interactions between a downed kiteboarder and boats. Look it over and let's talk about it before something like this actually happens. The KS accounts are intended to promote discussion and not necessarily be absolute truths or procedures.
How about Corpus Christi Windriders Assn. for a new name. It keeps the CCWA initials, yet covers what windsurfers and kiters get off on most, we both enjoy riding the wind. Although they are distinctly separate sports, the ability to work together as an organization should benefit both groups.
To our new parking liaison officer: I realize finding a space on weekends and holidays can be a problem, but regardless of the day, sailors/ kiters who jump the curb and park on the grass deserve a ticket. I find this similar to those skaters downtown who like to "grind" on the seawall. It not only damages the facilities, but ruins the image of others who are not involved. Tom Seymour
I am writing to you to try to raise awareness of safety issues that affect windsurfers, and to pass on some knowledge that might save a life. Here in Austin there was a fatality when a windsurfer down in the water was struck by a motor boat. The driver didn't see because the sun was in his eyes. Lately there have been hit and run incidents at other Texas sailing sites as well as deliberate acts of driving boats too close to sailors. Then a few weeks ago on a very windy day our local sailing site was closed by the public safety office after several people had to be rescued by emergency services. I was very upset by this latter incident, but after speaking to the authorities concerned I realized that they had to act this way because they had used their entire fuel supply searching for a sailor reported to be in trouble, but who had made their own way ashore. Here are a few tips for defensive sailing.
1. Understand emergency procedures for rescuing a sailor in distress at your local sailing site. Know who to call.
2. If you call emergency services give details so they can respond with the appropriate level. Failure to say
what the immediate danger level is will result in a full response. Most of the time windsurfers are not in danger if they stay with the board, and are suitably clothed to prevent hypothermia. In these cases instruct the services that a tow back is all that is required.
3. If you call an emergency service because you spot someone in trouble, then be prepared to personally track that person until the emergency service arrives on the scene.
4. As a sailor know how to perform a self rescue, and understand the international signs for distress.
5. As a sailor know your ability level and take good precautions. For example after launching if you are overpowered, try to stay where you will be pushed towards land if you get into trouble, rather than going
out so far that now you are really in trouble.
6. Motor boats are noisy so its relatively easy to spot them coming, but they do come very fast. If you add your speed of thirty mph and theirs you could be closing at 70 mph.
7. Don't assume a boater has seen you. Monofilm sails are not easy to see under certain circumstances. When you are down in the water you are even less visible. Also don't assume that they know, or care
about, right of way rules. Mostly motor boaters do not realize that sail craft cannot sail into the wind to avoid them.
8. Don't go out alone, and always keep an eye on other sailors in the vicinity.
Scott Carter in L.A. has been making some enormous gains on some of the personal watercraft safety issues, which unfortunately was initiated by a death. There hopefully will be some legislation coming out of this, but my message to you is not to rely upon anybody but yourself for your own safety.
Guy Miller USWA South Central Regional Director
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-05 15:04 ]</font>