FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A kite surfer has died after being blown off course off Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Officials said the man was kite surfing when the wind suddenly picked up and launched him into a nearby building, Wednesday.
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.”
Fred Salter went kite surfing Wednesday morning. It was a sport he did often and, according to friends, was quite skilled at.
Surveillance footage showed Salter 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: Salter didn’t make it.
Salter, 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.
A GoFundMe has been set up in Salter’s honor. To donate, click here.
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