Thank you "aprevelige";
I've been looking at all the available news reports on this, until you
added your "real time", "on the spot information" I was having a very
hard time determining where this was kiting accident or windsurfing
My condolences to this fellow waterman's family as well.
But I think this also points out another problem.
Windsurfing is facing a severe "identity crisis".
The news report from the original poster here was headlined "Kitesurferr
lost in L.I. Sound."
The video on the same site (TV news channel) was very unclear on what
sport the lost man was participating in.
The Connecticut Post(online at connpost.com) had a similar article with
lots of details about the small RHI boat that didn't work and had to be
rescued by the CG, but that article was headlined "Windsurfer lost in LI
So, unless the Conn Post retracts their story, half of Connecticut will
think we've lost a windsurfer.
For those of you thinking (as Florian has) about getting yourself a
rescue strobe, I'd suggest the slightly more expensive ACR Fire Fly.
The link Florian posted also has a well priced GPS/VHF radio combo.
Imagine if this fellow had been in a PFD, and had a strobe and the
Provided the batteries were maintained (all my GPS and comms units run
on rechargeables and you can now get solar chargers to keep the
batteries fully charged all the time) the lost kite boarder could have
used the strobe (after dark) so the CG could locate him, and with the
VHF/GPS combo he could have called in his lat/long position (within
about 10 meters or better (30 foot circle) and he could have
communicated with the CG helicopter, the 41 footers (there were 2
according to the CG Group in New Haven) and the larger CG vessel that
recovered his body.
I tell you I'm not sailing anywhere alone or in offshore winds that I
cannot walk back from without some sort of back up devices.
Too bad they aren't yet making a EPIRB/Strobe/GPS/VHF/Cell unit. That
would get you help in a heartbeat almost anywhere.
Aircraft (CG rescue and private/commercial planes) all pick up the EPIRB
signal and can direction find it.
On Scene rescue craft can see the strobe at nite (I've done alot of SAR
and good luck to anyone without a Strobe.
GPS can be used so the victim can will know the location to "call in"
VHF (unfortunately handhelds are limited to 1 watt so not too much
range) so the victim can talk to the CG. Plus most CG vessels have a VHF
direction finder that will nail down even a 1 watt signal pretty well.
Cell phone (to 911) so the victim (if close enough to shore and cell
coverage) (which I'm sure would have worked in this incident) can call
in via cell phone with his position and his problem. This would get the
closest Marine Patrol/Fire/Rescue Squads on scene even faster than
through the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center/CG Station which may
be located many miles away.
I think many of the new cell phones can also be located by law
enforcement direction finders.
Again, my condolences to his loved ones and family. I guess this is
truly an tragedy, because if he had the proper rescue gear or had simply
dumped the kite, rolled it up and swam in from 150 yards, he'd be
> Unfortunately, I was there to see this unfold. I am a windsurfer and
> was waiting for the wind to pick up. When it did, it was too late to
> go out and I watched a friend struggle to get back to shore. The kiter
> was close to shore (maybe 150 feet) but for whatever reason, he stayed
> with his kite and slowly drifted offshore. I watched him with
> binoculars for 40 minutes waiting for the marine police to arrive. As
> it happens, the town marine unit had boat problems and never did show
> up. The fire department, police and paramedics were watching from the
> beach, but were unable to assist. By the time another town's marine
> unit got there, he had lost his hold and was gone. There was more than
> enough time rescue this man, everyone was relying on the marine rescue
> unit and they broke down.
> What I learned was that a life jacket may have kept him afloat for
> those last crictical minutes (don't know for sure that he didn't have
> one but a friend said he usually wears one but not this time) but more
> importantly, he had his opportunity to get to shore early on, but chose
> not to go to shore. I can only speculate that he was thinking he could
> recover and sail back to the beach with his kite. It may be hard to
> do, but at times, leaving your rig may be the right choice.
> I think that it may have turned out completely different if it were a
> windsurfer, beign able to stay on the board or alternatively paddle the
> board back to the beach. The kiters have no means whatsoever to get
> out of the cold water other than swimming to shore, which for this poor
> fellow, quickly became impossible.
> I offer sincere my deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
>>>... and the said link is: http://SportToday.org/
>>This truly awful news.
>>I sailed the sound with a group of local guys around the same time near
>>Bayville; a few miles across the sound from where this happened. The
>>forecast had called for a strong NW late in the day and was spot on. The
>>front hit around 4:30PM and the wind just switched around from SW in a
>>matter of seconds. The development was pretty obvious from the LI north
>>shore but we were still surprised by the suddenness and *** of the
>>I am ordering a strobe right now <http://SportToday.org/
>>html> and I would like to urge everyone else who sails or kites under
>>these conditions to take a serious look at their safety measures. Let's
>>not shrug this one off, but do it out of respect for the man who died.