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 Post subject: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:17 pm 
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I just read about a fatality on the German Oase forum.

A German kiter died in Walvis Bay.

My condolences to friends and family :(


Original article: http://www.az.com.na/polizei-gericht/kitesurfer-t-dlich-verungl-ckt.417431

Translation below:

40 - year-old man from Windhoek to be drowned in the lagoon

Swakopmund / Walvis Bay • A German kitesurfer has come on Monday afternoon in the lagoon of Walvis Bay killed. The exact cause of death was yesterday still unknown ; it is assumed that the 40 -year-old Christian Lerch drowned.
The incident confirmed police spokeswoman Ottilie Kashuupulwa , but could give little concrete information , " because no one is sure what exactly happened ," she said. Only so much they wanted to announce : According to preliminary police reports, Lerch has been kite surfing in the shallow lagoon of Walvis Bay. A leash of his dragon had tangled at one of its legs. "He is apparently fell and was dragged hundreds of feet above the ground ," she said. He was left lying on a small island in the lagoon.
Rescue workers had Lerch reached after arduous action and found dead. At the time of the tragic accident low water had prevailed . "We are not yet sure of the exact cause of death , which is only an autopsy found " Kashuupulwa said. The police believe that Lerch had swallowed during the drop of water and was thus drowned.
The lagoon of Walvis Bay is known worldwide as a top Kitesurf spot . "We are stunned by this case and speak to all concerned our condolences ," the kitesurfer Rainer Eimbeck said yesterday , adding: " Such incidents happen statistically rare. A tragic accident like this shows that the risk is a reality, situations may arise in which it is the forces of nature delivered completely . "


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in South Africa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:18 pm 
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sounds like a death looping kite to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in South Africa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:32 pm 
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Sad to hear. Just a minor correction to the topic title, since 1994, Walvis Bay has been re-integrated into Namibia.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in South Africa
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:06 pm 
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I am very sorry to hear about this and wish his family what comfort they can find at this tragic time.

I've run down what information about this accident I have been able to find on the Internet but it amounts to little more than what shows up in the article Toby posted. I would appreciate it if someone could offer more information about what happened. If you can help, please PM me on here at ricki or email to flkitesurfer at hotmail

Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:27 am 
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Just an hour ago the same newspaper published an articel and corrected the earlier statement.
Our fellow kiter died from a broken blood vessel / artery.

I feel so sorry for his family, he was a beginner trying to learn kiting and a kite loop by error must likely have pulled him so hard onto his board that he started bleeding a lot, so he died quickly, he couldnt even release the kite anymore. He was found dead on a nearby sandbank and could not be revived.

http://www.az.com.na/lokales/kitesurfer ... ken.417573



Kitesurfer ist nicht ertrunken
Mi, 2014-04-30 07:00 — Allgemeine Zeitung
Familie bedankt sich für Unterstützung nach tragischem Unfall

Christian Lerch (40) ist am Ostermontag bei einem tragischen Kitesurf-Unfall ums Leben gekommen. Foto: privat

Swakopmund/Walvis Bay (er) • Der Kitesurfer Christian Lerch ist nicht in der Lagune von Walvis Bay ertrunken, sondern der 40-Jährige ist an den Folgen eines verletzten Blutgefäßes im Brustkorb und somit an inneren Blutung gestorben. Das teilte sein Bruder Alexander Lerch jetzt unter Berufung auf die Ergebnisse der Obduktion und als Reaktion auf Medienberichte mit, in denen Polizeispekulationen zur Todesursache veröffentlicht wurden (siehe auch AZ vom 23. April 2014).

Laut Alexander Lerch war sein Bruder als Vizedirektor im Ministerium für Umwelt und Tourismus tätig und dort für den Bereich Straßen, Zäune und andere Anlagen in Nationalparks zuständig. „Er ist in der vergangenen Woche nach Walvis Bay gekommen, um das Kitesurfen zu lernen“, heißt es. Und: „Laut Ausbilder(n) war er ein guter Schüler und schnell lernender Anfänger.“ Christian Lerch habe seinen Kurs am Sonntag (20. April) abgeschlossen, habe aber kurzfristig beschlossen, bis Montag (21.4.) zu bleiben und noch zu üben. Er habe am Montag ein Brett geliehen und sei Kitesurfen gegangen.

Christian Lerch habe etwa eine Stunde problemlos geübt. Die Ausbilderin der Kiteschule war ganz in der Nähe, da sie auf einen anderen Schüler gewartet habe. „Es wird davon ausgegangen, dass er auf einmal gestürzt ist, sein Drachen hat Schleifen in der Luft gemacht.“ Die Lehrerin habe „zieh, zieh“ geschrien, wonach Lerch das erste Sicherheitsseil gezogen habe und der Drachen ins Wasser gestürzt sei. „Leider ist Christian wahrscheinlich auf das Brett gefallen, wonach ein Blutgefäß verletzt wurde. Er ist schnell verstorben und konnte daher das zweite Sicherheitsseil nicht ziehen. Deshalb hat der Drachen weiterhin Schleifen gemacht“, erklärte sein Bruder.

Eine Person am Strand habe den Vorfall beobachtet und ein Erste-Hilfe-Team informiert. Ein anderer ­Kitesurfer sei Christian Lerch zur Hilfe geeilt und habe ihn auf einer ­Sandbank in der Lagune vorgefunden. Er habe Wiederbelebungsmaßnahmen eingeleitet, sei aber nicht erfolgreich gewesen. Auch das Rettungsteam Life Link habe versucht, Christian Lerch wiederzubeleben – vergebens.
„Christian ist nicht ertrunken. Er hat sich auch kein Seil um sein Bein verheddert, wie in den Medien berichtet wurde. Es ist ein sehr tragischer Unfall. Laut Obduktion ist er sehr schnell gestorben. Er war wahrscheinlich schon tot, als er zur Sandbank gezogen wurde“, so Alexander Lerch. Und: „Wir, die Familie, sind sehr dankbar für die Unterstützung, die wir von allen Beteiligten bekommen haben. Leider konnten wir den Kitesurfer nicht identifizieren, der meinem Bruder geholfen hat. Wir würden uns gern persönlich bei ihm für seine Hilfe bedanken.“

Eine Gedenkfeier im Ministerium habe am vergangenen Wochenende in Windhoek stattgefunden. Die Beerdigung soll am kommenden Montag in Berlin stattfinden. Christian Lerch habe sieben Jahre in Namibia gelebt. Er sei in Bad Gandersheim geboren worden und hinterlasse seine namibische Frau.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:29 pm 
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RIP
That is a sad, but interesting case because of the type of injury.
From what it sounds like, it could be deceleration injury - rupture of the aorta by blunt trauma.
Normally this injury is associated with a high degree of trauma as in an unrestrained or high speed motor vehicle crash. Rupture of the aorta can happen long after the initial injury, even after several months or longer.
Did the victim in this case suffer prior trauma ?
Did he crash hard enough to cause aortic injury?
It is hard to imagine a beginner getting slammed hard enough to cause that injury without some aggravating circumstance or pre-existing injury, perhaps aortic aneurysm?
I guess it could happen though.
GFS models have winds around BFT 4 in the Walvis bay spots at the time. Does that reflect actual conditions?
This report has me scratching my head a little...


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:06 pm 
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You can find a similar account in English at: http://www.namibtimes.net/forum/topics/kite-surfer-suffered-serious-blood-vessel-rupture

I just spoke to a local kiter who has knowledge of the accident. They related the following:

Winds on the lagoon were 17 to 20 kts. side shore, with minimal waves. The water temperature was about 18 C, with warmer air temperature and the man was wearing a full wetsuit.

The approximate 95 kg, 1.9 m (210 lbs. and about 6'2") man was using a 11 m kite, had completed instruction and was riding competently on his own.

There was no evidence that he fell on his board or suffered other impact at the time of the accident. Nor was there any positive indication that his kite or bar were wrapped by a line or that kiter himself opened either quick release.

I understand a local doctor indicated that with such coronary blood vessel rupture, sometimes the left hand can cramp. If this happened, it could induce kite looping but this is just speculation.

At this point based on the information I just received, if there is a hard won lesson in this, it would be to have regular, thorough physicals, such as it is. Such physicals may or may not pickup problems that might lead to something like this. I don't know if there was a preexisting injury or not. If you do suffer major impact trauma, are on heart medication or have other medical conditions that could lead to problems, I would think carefully about pursuing kiting or other vigorous activities. A number of kiters over the years have been lost under these circumstances.

FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi

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Last edited by RickI on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:43 pm 
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thx for the updates guys...sad story, just went wrong. Can happen with anything you do.

RIP


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Thanks for the information, sounds like one of several fairly uncommon medical problems was the cause. Tragic and unexpected for a man still fairly young and apparently healthy.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatality in Namibia
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:09 pm 
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Incidents like this are the sort that there is relatively nothing that can be done. If the cause was a medical issue than just a regular GP visit wouldn't find the issue. Most likely the man was unaware that there was anything wrong with him medically and it could have occurred anywhere. It's unfortunate and my prayers go out to his family.

James


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