Who was Fred Salter? Kite surfer, 61, killed by gusty wind after he ignores warning
Amid the ongoing storms and weather disturbances across the country, a kite-surfer from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has tragically died after being lifted off by a strong gust of wind and slammed into a house from 400 feet in the air. Fred Salter, a 61-year-old veteran kite-surfer, reportedly turned a deaf ear to his friends' repeated warnings against kite surfing in bad weather. The incident happened on Wednesday, August 25, as Salter crashed into a house on 2600 block of North Atlantic Boulevard. Though he survived the initial fall, he succumbed to his injuries three hours later at the hospital.
The past week has been calamitous for many regions in America with hurricanes, flash floods and thunderstorms causing many casualties. Over 21 people died and over 50 are still missing from the flash floods in Tennessee, which claimed the lives of 11-month-old twins Ryan and Rileigh among many others. In the case of Fred Salter, he ignored the Broward County weather advisory of an excessively windy day before heading to the beach.
Who was Fred Salter?
The veteran kite surfer regularly posted glimpses from his adventures on his social media. However, Graham Goodwin, an acquaintance of Salter and owner of a local kite-surfing business, admitted that Salter "could be a bit reckless at times."
On the fateful Wednesday morning, Salter had ignored the weather forecast which was issued just minutes before he went out. While up in the air, he was caught helpless by a sudden strong gust of wind that carried him further, before he crashed into the beach house. According to Fort Lauderdale Chief Stephen Gollan, Salter was wearing a harness secured to his body for safety when the accident happened.
However, fellow kite-surfers believe that Salter might have survived the accident had he let go of the kite or detached himself from the harness. They were unsure why an experienced person like him did not let go of his kite or failed to push the two emergency release buttons on his harness. Graham Goodwin further added that Salter would have had 90 percent chance of surviving such an accident had to let go of his kite.
Throughout the entire time, Salter was floating above the ground high up in the air and never touched the water, something which might have saved his life. "But he was out there often. He was very experienced," Goodwin mentioned. Salter's tragic death was mourned by his family and friends on social media.
Kite-surfing is a thrilling and adventurous sports that involves the use of a kite to surf over the water. The wind serves as a fuel for the surfer who performs flips and twists on their board propelled by waves.