Kite Surfer Killed After Wind Picks Him Up, Slams Into Building

by Shelby Scott

Kitesurfers thrive on a windy day. However, one recreational trip turned deadly as a Fort Lauderdale resident lost their life among high winds. After struggling with the kite to release himself, the surfer, identified as Fred Salter, went airborne in the wind gusts. He passed through a cluster of palm trees and then slammed into the side of a local beach house.

According to TMZ, Salter crashed to the ground below after slamming into the home and suffered major injuries. Authorities rushed the 61-year-old to Broward Health Medical Center. However, the surfer was in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries hours later.

To some, it appeared irresponsible at the time to go kite surfing amid what some claimed to be 40-mile-per-hour winds. However, the news broadcast which detailed the fatal accident said that Salter was an extremely experienced and beloved kite surfer. His friends said they frequently found Salter kite surfing at Loggerhead Park. Overall then, the incident made his fatality all the more upsetting.

Additionally, one local resident said weather conditions rapidly transformed to extremely dangerous conditions. Initially, the winds were calm before turning unmanageable. This possibly explains why Salter did not have time to release from his kite.

According to TMZ, Salter was a father, grandfather, and cancer survivor in addition to being an experienced kitesurfer. He passed Wednesday around 10 a.m. according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Stephen Gollan.

Wind Gusts Plagued the United States’ East Coast This Week

Salter’s fatal incident is one of the most recent disastrous events to take place among heavy wind gusts along the United States East Coast this week. Outsider expresses their sympathies for the family and friends of the experienced kit surfer.

Further, among recent disasters, wind gusts and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Henri, which began plaguing the U.S. early last weekend, resulted in major floods and power outages up the coast. Wind and rain caused numerous flight cancelations when Henri crossed eastern shores earlier this week. FlightAware shared that more than 1,000 flights saw cancelations nationally.

High winds and flooding caused more than 100,000 power outages in Rhode Island alone. Locations within New York and southern Massachusetts saw wind gusts reaching up to 75 miles per hour. Like the winds which killed Salter, Connecticut saw slightly less intense gusts as the storm moved inland, dropping to a steady 40 miles per hour.

Additionally, rural areas saw numerous trees down due to wind and rain, with many areas just now regaining access to popular routes on Wednesday this week. Henri should have made its way back out to the Atlantic at this point, though wind and rain still hold prevalent later in the week. Regardless, Outsider keeps those affected by the heavy winds and rain in mind as regions work to recover.