Kite surfer dies after strong winds launch him into a building
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Wednesday a kite surfer was blown off course off Fort Lauderdale Beach.
According to officials, the man was kite surfing when the wind suddenly picked up and launched him into a nearby building.
Onlookers called officials immediately after seeing the accident.
“He was windsurfing on the beach, and the wind picked up and threw him against the building, and he went down,” a witness said in a 911 call to Broward Sheriff’s Office. “He’s unconscious on the floor. He’s bleeding.”
According to friends, Fred Sulter went kite surfing Wednesday morning and that was something that he was quite skilled at.
According to surveillance footage, Sulter was trying to fight the gust and control the kite, but the wind proved to be too powerful. His kite got caught in the burst of wind, dragged him along the sand, and sent him flying into the air.
“He was attempting to kitesurf in the ocean behind the address here, actually, just two doors down, when strong winds came into the area unexpectedly, and he was not able to release from the kite in a timely manner,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Stephen Gollan. “So we went from relatively calm conditions to extremely dangerous conditions in a short period of time.” Witnesses called 911.
“I saw him going into the building. Oh, my God!” the witness said.
The victim was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition. His family gathered at Broward Health Medical Center only to get the bad news: Sulter didn’t make it. Sulter, a father, grandfather, and cancer survivor died, according to friends, doing what he loved.
“He loved what he did, and he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’m just in shock right now,” said friend Heather Hentges. “I can’t believe it. I’m just so sad for him.”
Witnesses said the wind picked up just after 9 a.m. One witness said it felt like it was 50 mph winds. The man’s car has been towed from the scene.