I was out flying last week. The wind was very strong, probably around 25 knots. I was flying my mate’s 9mtr storm with a 5th line, and was just nicely powered. Down at the water, a guy I don’t know asked me for a launch… He is the friend of one of the guys that regularly rides, and seemed to know what he was doing… I obliged and launched his kite (i think it was a 9mtr without a 5th line). He seemed to be struggling to get onto the water with the kite, so I grabbed the handle on his harness and pulled him back into the water gave him his board and let him go. Not 2 minutes later, he was getting pulled out of the water (there were on-shore winds).. I repeatedly shouted over ‘Hit your release’, but he didn’t. A gust came and lifted him.. he was still ok. Then a big gust came and completely lofted him (i guess he was 30ft in the air), he was spinning as he was lifted, and landed on his side – hitting the side of his head off the ground really hard. This knocked the guy out. He was still being lifted and bounced off the beach at this point. I ran down the beach and caught up with him. He was laying unconcious with the kite slowly trailing his body along the beach. I tried to release his kite, but there was no release!! Instead of a chicken loop, there was a dirty great knot around his harness bar. With my weight, and this dude’s weight, I was able to hold onto the kite until someone else ran over and grabbed the kite. He came too pretty quickly, and was back up on his feet with no broken limbs (I was amazed). After a short while, people realised the guy was kinda talking gibberish, and got him whisked off to the hospital. I heard that the guy is having problems with his short term memory, and can’t remember things that he’s done in the same day. I know the individual is ultimately responsible for themselves, but there is also a collective responsibility that should extend beyond phoning the ambulance for someone after they’ve messed themselves up… i.e it was this guy’s own fault he didn’t have a release on his kite, but I also feel to blame for launching him. In future, if I don’t really know someone, I think I should at least ask them about their gear – and have a look at it if possible.

Story Courtesy: XtremeBigAir.com