Hi guys, this is Isra. I am just coming here now because my English is not too brilliant, which is taken care of: my buddy alamos_kiter will translate everything forth and back.
I would like to tell you my little kite mare in my own words.
On the 3rd of july, while I was enjoying this great sport on the coast of Málaga, Spain, at Los Alamos beach, I suffered an accident which left my left leg badly damaged. I’m kiting this beach since 2007. Los Alamos beach has smooth thermic side-on winds, usually between 15 and 20 knots, and is used a lot for teaching. It’s a long, wide and safe beach, and in summer it is the only kite zone for 50 miles up or down the coast, due to swimming zones established on most all of our beaches where kiting is prohibited.
From the accident I only remember this: It was a smooth 18-20kn thermic side-on day, 1 foot ankle snappers, and I was on my TT, maybe 20m from shore, in deep water. The kite all of a sudden gave me an extremely hard yank which knocked me upward and forward, kite crashed and kept pulling me downwind. I immediately felt strong pain in my left knee, and after releasing the kite and waving for assistance, I became aware that my leg was really bad: my lower leg flopped around in any old direction. The kite crew both on the beach and out on the water came to my help immediately. An ambulance brought me to hospital. After 7 days of painful treatment and repeated surgery, the medical team told me they could not save my leg, that they had to amputate above the knee, due to the bad condition it was in.
You’ll ask yourself how this could happen, and so do I. It was a stable side-on thermical breeze, no damage on the kite or lines or board, no frontal winds or otherwise dodgy weather conditions. The only explanation I could think of, and this is pure speculation, is a freak gust from the wake vortex of a plane. Los Alamos beach is in the flight path of Málaga AGP international airport, runway south 13/31 is at approx. 2km distance from Los Alamos beach in a straight line. In the last 15 or so years, it has been reported once or twice that somebody got ripped off the water and smashed back, on a 15 knot day, without any consistent explanation. It’s also unclear how the leg could suffer so badly. I can only guess that my right leg slipped out of the footstrap, and the board took care of the locked-in left knee when I hit the water.
I was hospitalized for 23 days overall, now I’m out, physically and mentally in good shape, and working hard on physiotherapy. Apart from the physio, which is an ongoing process, I am facing to put up the money for a prothesis which adjusts to my characteristics. I was told the price for such prothesis is approximately 20.000€ (26.000 US$), which is far beyond what my family and I are able to scrape together.
So this is my little story. The sports crew I used to be out with is going out of their ways to help me with that leg, my bike group BARRANCO BIKERS put up a bank account for donations, the local kite schools and shops organize kite meetings at the beach where it all happened, local radio stations, people on social networks, the local papers are trying to help, which is so great.
Any help is appreciated, I would especially be grateful for any tips and insights from people who have gone through a similar experience. Your experience is priceless for me - I am just at the beginning of learning a new life and want to get back on the water and into sports badly.
I will be happy to answer any question you might have, in English on here or via alamoskiter at gmail dot com. You can also reach me directly (in Spanish) on eclecp at gmail dot com, #todosconisra on Twitter and todosconisra on Facebook.
Cheers and good winds, Isra
Israel Rueda Beltran
Los Alamos Beach