I am surprised that no one brought this "up"
I mean that for over 20 years i windsurfed with the hook "up"...(very unpopular and bit weird)
I always felt trapped with hook down over the harness line
I was much EZier for me to get out of and release the harness line with the hook up
Pull the boom towards me and bend down at the waist a little
So the question to the original poster is:
Could you have got yourself out of that tragic event if the hook was "up"instead ??
With the chicken loop in the hook "up" position plus the donkey stick securely in also...
Accidents like that may be averted or able to get out of much more EZily
By the way i kite with the hook down