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    Florida kite surfer, 61, dead after slamming into wall of beachside home


    A kite surfer died Wednesday after crashing into the wall of a beachside home in Florida, according to reports. 

    Sudden gusts of winds picked the kite surfer off the ground and carried him more than 400 feet — before he slammed into the second floor of a house on Fort Lauderdale Beach, according to fire officials. 

    “He was attempting to kitesurf in the ocean … when strong winds came into the area unexpectedly, and he was not able to release from the kite in a timely manner,” said Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, spokesman for Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, according to WSVN-TV. “So we went from relatively calm conditions to extremely dangerous conditions in a short period of time.”

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    Friends on social media identified the victim as Fred Salter, 61, of Fort Lauderdale. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition just after 10 a.m. and was pronounced dead about three hours later, the Sun-Sentinel reported. 

    In kite surfing, participants usually hook a large kite to a body harness, hold onto a bar and then put their feet into straps attached to a surfboard. They then use the kite to pull them through the water.

    A Florida kite surfer’s kite is visible at the scene of Wednesday’s tragedy. (WSVN-TV Miami)

    Kites usually come with a safety release system that can quickly disconnect the surfer if they lose control or catch a dangerous wind. Gollan said the kite surfer was wearing a harness that was securely connected to his apparatus. 

    Experienced surfers wondered why Salter didn’t let go of the bar or activated one of two releases that would have “all but detached him from the kite,” according to Sun-Sentinel. 

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    “Letting go of the bar solves 90 percent of problems,” Graham Goodwin, owner of Fort Lauderdale Kitesurfing, told the paper.

    A weather advisory had been issued in Broward County just minutes before the incident and friends had warned him about the day’s winds, Goodwin said. 

    “He could be a little bit reckless at times,” Goodwin added. “But he was out there often. He was very experienced.”

    CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

    Sulter was also a cancer survivor, according to WSVN-TV. Friends said he died doing what he loved. 

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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