Accident in alameda 5/12

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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby BayAreaKite » Sun May 21, 2017 3:13 pm

Yeah 50' seemed a bit high, and sounds like conditions were not ideal.

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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby skinnydoc » Mon May 22, 2017 2:30 pm

For the sake of learning and fostering safer practice in general and specifically at Alameda Beach, can someone sketch out what occurred on the following image from google maps? Mark up the image and repost please!
Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 2.18.28 PM REDUCED.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 2.18.28 PM REDUCED.jpg (260.6 KiB) Viewed 5467 times

Was it the green conical object seen in the image to the south east that was the fixed obstruction? Was the wind particularly Northy then, causing some turbulence over the shack? Was the kite pointing towards the road?

I've kited Alameda multiple times and in fact learned there without mishap. I'm always humble however and want to know more about what not to do.

I'm very very sorry for this family's loss!

I think having a prominent diagram signposted in several places in the area might be a very good idea, with dos/donts listed. I've seen this for instance in paragliding spots.


ps I don't know how to post inline with the message, maybe someone can do that to make it easier to read?
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby le noun » Mon May 22, 2017 9:13 pm

I don't understand why people keep asking for a sign to be posted at Alameda.
THERE IS indeed a sign on the north side of the shack that explains EVERYTHING from rigging to launching etc...
It's been there for years...
I guess it could be moved where the peanut gallery sits? (aka, where the benches are)

the boardsports team is doing a FANTASTIC job to keep the beach safe every single day. I don't think I would have the patience...

Someone earlier in this thread asked why, for a while, people were launching with kites toward the road, it is simply because of beach erosion: it was down to about 10 feet of sand. So the rider would get in the water and get the launcher to be on land in order to be able to launch.
Since the city has redone the beach 2 seasons ago, we are back to launching kites toward the water (which I think people who started the sport more than 3 years ago have a hard time to switching to the new rule).

Anyhow, bottom line is: we do need to self police as much as possible. Lots of people new to the sports or to the area never took the time to come on this forum (which is too bad) so we need to tell them when they are doing something wrong. I know I do, and that's usually what gets me late to work after my session. :)
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby dz » Tue May 23, 2017 1:55 pm

I agree w le noun.
I would add that "Self- policing" be defined as "asking someone who is already informed of the guidelines, to simply follow them"

as differentiated from "Assisting" or "Mentoring" -that is helping out someone who is new to the sport.
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby ozreiuosn » Wed May 24, 2017 3:25 pm

I downloaded that map image and attempted a crude drawing of what happened. I'm also trying to upload all this from a tablet so bear with me.

First image is noting which object he hit. He did not hit the cylindrical thing, he hit the tall box.
2017-05-24 15.03.14.jpg
2017-05-24 15.03.14.jpg (912.78 KiB) Viewed 5303 times

2nd image where I first saw him and his kite
2017-05-24 15.05.53.jpg
2017-05-24 15.05.53.jpg (917.22 KiB) Viewed 5303 times

3rd image, where he was getting pulled towards the bush
2017-05-24 15.11.13.jpg
2017-05-24 15.11.13.jpg (913.01 KiB) Viewed 5303 times

4th image, I no longer had visual on his kite, but he was at the bushes and getting lifted
2017-05-24 15.12.37.jpg
2017-05-24 15.12.37.jpg (912.72 KiB) Viewed 5303 times

5th image is where he landed, I saw the kite down wind but dont know how it got there.
2017-05-24 15.14.29.jpg
2017-05-24 15.14.29.jpg (912.38 KiB) Viewed 5303 times
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby skinnydoc » Wed May 24, 2017 4:59 pm

thanks a lot for the illustration! Can you drawn on wind direction?

So is the consensus he was somehow overpowered, got dragged, then at the bushes (4th image) maybe there was an uplift based on the contour pulling him up in the air?

Just trying to understand what things, in folks' opinion, could have been done differently.

thanks again.
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby WindOverWater » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:17 pm

mezh wrote:Terrible news. I was pretty close, but didn't see launch moment. My friend was helping him. He said angle was not ideal, but not too bad. I saw him running towards the bush following kite. Hands on the bar. My friend tried to grab him by the harness but missed few inches. Then he collided with some stuburn photographer, who was busy setting up his equipment for some kind of shoot on the side of the launch area. Bad location choice for sure. He kind of brushed the photograper a little bit on the head and it took an extra second because he was trying to avoid collision and change his course.
I didn't see the actual crash. My view was blocked by the bush. My friend said his ropes wrapped around the pole giving him additional acceleration perhaps. I didn't​ see him flying high. Few kiters on the other side saw actual crash. I talk to one guy after. He said he was hit twice - first by the round metal structure (about 4" tall) and then second time by metal utility box. This is where I saw him when I rushed in. He was unconscious. Pulse was present. He was not attached to the kite. Not sure if someone already unclip him. I removed his harness, but few people were around already. One guy who knew how to do CPR started to help immediately. Emergency kit was brought in pretty fast. I think from the shack. But is was useless. No scissors. No mouse piece for CPR. He did mouth to mouth. Guy started to breeze, but was still unconscious. He got pretty deep cut on his shin. It was blending. Not too bad. Clearly main injury was somewhere at his head. Didn't see exactly where. He was wearing helmet but it was not on him when I got there.

Eventually wetsuite get cut and ambulance arrived. They intubated right away and took him out reasonably fast.

I knew it doesn't look promising when county investigators showed up to take pictures and yellow taped the area. They said no news yet. Now we know ... Very sad.

I see few things we can improve there:
- pitch in money for modern first aid kit
- poster with clear instructions how to launch properly


Sorry to bump a sad thread... I'm still learning kitesurfing lingos. When you say "unplug immediately", do you mean ejecting the chicken loop to depower the kite, or ejecting the entire leash to complete disengage from the kite?
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Re: Accident in alameda 5/12

Postby reyrivera » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:23 pm

@WindOverWater, he meant punch out and activate your flagging system. Emergency flagging and kite ejection are different scenarios.

1) Know your safety system, practice, practice, practice. Make sure you can figure out how to flag your kite with your eyes closed.
2) Don't panic, keep calm.
3) When you kite, assume the worse that can happen. Don't choose saving your gear instead of your life. It's cheaper to destroy your gear compared to going to the hospital, or at worse, dying.
4) Eject (release the kite completely) only if necessary. Only eject the kite if it cannot be flagged, or if you are going to be in a more serious situation. People have been hurt and killed from runaway kites.

Some useful videos that might help:

Basic Safety Information:

Beginner Common Mistakes:

Surviving the Death Loop, Part I:

Surviving the Death Loop, Part II:
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