Florida kitesurfer dies after high winds hit him at beach house

Kitesurfer, 61, who ignored friends’ weather warnings, is killed after a sudden gust of wind lifted him off Florida beach, carried him 400 feet and slammed him into a house

  • Fred Salter, of Fort Lauderdale, was crashed into the second floor of a house at 2600 block of North Atlantic Blvd.
  • He survived the accident, but died in hospital three hours later
  • Salter was an experienced kite surfer and it is not clear why he did not let go of the kite that lifted him into the air
  • Friends had warned Salter that high winds were forecast on the day of his death

Fred Salter, 61, died after a kitesurfing session went wrong and he was lifted by high winds and crashed into a beach house

Fred Salter, 61, died after a kitesurfing session went wrong and he was lifted by high winds and crashed into a beach house

A 61-year-old kitesurfer who ignored warnings from friends of dangerous weather died after being picked up by a sudden gust of wind on a Florida beach and slammed into the side of a beach house.

Fred Salter, of Fort Lauderdale, was carried more than 400 feet in the air before crashing into the second floor of a house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd.

He survived the accident and was taken to a hospital around 10 a.m. Wednesday, but died three hours later.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue chief Stephen Gollan said Salter was wearing a harness attached to his body.

Fellow surfers told the Sun Sentinel they weren’t sure why Salter didn’t release the kite, or why he didn’t press the two release buttons on his harness to free himself from the kite.

Salter was described as an accomplished kite surfer.

He devoted his social media to posting photos of him practicing the sport, which is similar to surfing but uses a kite to take advantage of the wind as fuel, performing flips and twists as the surfboard is propelled by waves. .

Graham Goodwin, owner of a kitesurfing company on Fort Lauderdale beach and an acquitted of Salter, told the Sentinel that releasing the kite would have given Salter a 90 percent chance of avoiding the accident.

Salter was described by friends and fellow surfers as an experienced kite surfer

Salter was described by friends and fellow surfers as an experienced kite surfer

Salter was described by friends and fellow surfers as an experienced kite surfer

Fellow kitesurfers unsure why Salter didn't let go of the wind that lifted him 400 feet into the air

Fellow kitesurfers unsure why Salter didn't let go of the wind that lifted him 400 feet into the air

Fellow kitesurfers unsure why Salter didn’t let go of the wind that lifted him 400 feet into the air

He crashed into the second floor of this house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd

He crashed into the second floor of this house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd

He crashed into the second floor of this house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd

Goodwin also said Salter never touched the water and was above ground for the entire duration of the incident.

Salter had been warned by friends that it would be particularly windy during the day, and a Broward County weather advisory had been issued a few minutes earlier.

“He could be a little reckless at times,” Goodwin said. ‘But he was often there. He was very experienced.’

“He could be a little reckless at times, but he was there often.  He was very experienced,

“He could be a little reckless at times, but he was there often.  He was very experienced,

“He could be a little reckless at times, but he was often there. He was very experienced,” said Graham Goodwin, the owner of a kitesurfing shop and acquitted of Salter.

Kitesurfing is very similar to surfing, but a kite is used so that the wind acts as fuel to lift the surfboard

Kitesurfing is very similar to surfing, but a kite is used so that the wind acts as fuel to lift the surfboard

Kitesurfing is very similar to surfing, but a kite is used so that the wind acts as fuel to lift the surfboard

Salter had been warned by friends that there would be strong winds during the day

Salter had been warned by friends that there would be strong winds during the day

Salter had been warned by friends that there would be strong winds during the day

Michael Bradley (right), a friend of Salter's (left), expressed his grief over the accident on Facebook

Michael Bradley (right), a friend of Salter's (left), expressed his grief over the accident on Facebook

Michael Bradley (right), a friend of Salter’s (left), expressed his grief over the accident on Facebook

Friends and fellow kite surfers expressed their grief after the accident on Facebook.

Salter’s friend Michael Bradley wrote on Facebook: “Lost one of my best friends today, I love you.”

Bradley devoted another post to Salter, sharing photos of the late surfer over the years.

“Oh Mikey, I wish I had the words to comfort you.

“My heart is broken too and I’m trying to understand the loss of our friend.

“All I can think about are the many wonderful things I’ve learned from having him in my life.

“My deepest condolences to you, my friend and to his dear family. It will be his love and example that we will get through,” replied another friend of Salter.

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