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Kitesurfer tragically dies after vicious wind slams him into building
August 27, 2021
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A kitesurfer has been tragically killed after an enormous gust of wind caught his kite, dragged him across a beach, and catapulted him at a building.
61-year-old Fred Salter suffered severe injuries and sadly passed away in hospital three hours after the collision on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Workers from a nearby port recorded the winds at 40mph and described them as freakish gusts "that came out of nowhere".
Harrowing footage from the beach showed Salter desperately yanking on his kite as the wind took control. He was standing on the sand as the sail launched upwards, dragging him through a row of palm trees before colliding with a house on North Atlantic Boulevard.
He was dragged along for over 400ft by one of the kite's two safety locks having managed to wriggle out of the other one.
Gus Rempipes, the man who rushed to Salter and tried his best to help until the emergency services arrived, said: "It was almost like a microburst. I saw a lot of sand flying down the parking lot and that's when I saw the kite dangling off the building."
Salter was a father and grandfather, as well as a well-liked figure around the Fort Lauderdale area. He had lots of friends within the beach's kite surfing community.
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Graham Goodwin, owner of a kitesurfing business in Fort Lauderdale and a friend of Salter, said: "He could be a little bit reckless at times but he was out there often. He was very experienced."
The master kite surfer was known for his ability on the waves, an ability that possibly inspired him to go out on Wednesday despite being warned of the freakish winds according to his friends.
One friend, Haley Lavallee, said: "He was out here every time it got windy. This was his passion."
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Friend Michael Bradley took to Facebook to express his grief. He wrote: "Lost one of my best friends today, love you.
"My heart is also broken and I am trying to make sense of the loss of our friend.
"All I can think about is the many wonderful things I learned from having him in my life."
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