Some information has come in about this tragic accident however insufficient to provide a complete understanding of what happened. What has been collected follows. If anyone can offer further information regarding this sad accident please PM ricki. Sincere condolences and regrets go out to this lost kiteboarders family and friends.
El Gouna is in the Northern Red Sea, on the east coast of Egypt
The riding area borders developed desert about an hour north of Hurghada
1. A Swiss male kiter of 4 to 5 years experience had been kiteboarding in El Gouna for about a week. He was estimated to be 1.8 m (5'11") in height and weighed about 80 to 90 kg. (175 to 200 lbs.). He was wearing a full wetsuit and no impact vest.
2. On January 3, 2008, he was kiteboarding alone among a group of about 20 other kiters in the lagoon on his own 2008, 10 m fifth line Rebel "C" kite.
A livecam photo of the area at 1145 that morning.
3. Winds were reported to have been about 15 to 18 kts. out of the NW or side offshore at 2 pm. The water was fairly calm in what were described as ideal conditions.
Wind records for the area
4. At around 2 pm, a female kiter noted the rider being pulled by a looping kite through the water without a board and yelled at him to open his Quick Release or QR. The rider was reported to have waved at her. No observations of what may have initiated the kite looping have been reported.
5. A kiteboarding instructor about 50 m away attempted to catch the rider by moving through waist deep water as fast as he could but was unsuccessful given the speed at which the kiter was being dragged. He also yelled at the rider to activate his QR. The kiter was seen to appear to become unconscious after being dragged about 100 to 150 m with his head passing beneath the water's surface at times.
6. Two kite beachboys onshore noticed the looping kite and called both safety boats offshore into to provide assistance by walkie talkies. One boat ran just behind the kiter and observed that he was unresponsive, perhaps unconscious. The other boat ran forward and tried to grab the kite. The kite was looping about three times in the air then striking the water and relaunching again, repeated over and over. This made securing the kite very hard to do. Eventually the lines were grabbed and cut. The kiteboarder was dragged approximately 300 to 500 m in the course of the accident for an estimated duration of 2 minutes. This would equate to a dragging speed of approximately 6 to 8 kts..
7. The kiter was recovered into the rescue boat and rushed to shore. The station director was waiting and performed CPR on the kiter. The kiteboarder did not revive.
8. The kiter was not seen to activate his Quick Release. It was later checked by staff and found to be functioning correctly.