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Accident at the monkey bar
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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kenja

Since 19 Jun 2008
179 Posts

Stoked



PostFri May 16, 14 8:45 pm    Accident at the monkey bar Reply with quote

Does anyone have any info on the woman who got her lines wrapped around the buoy in front if the White Salmon bar? I found her board floating near the hatchery and she was just being rescued by the sheriff boat by the time I got it back to the bar. A guy on the beach said he knew her and would make sure the board got back to her. It sounds like she got tangled up and couldn't release herself. Hopefully she is ok.

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dangler

Since 26 Feb 2006
1376 Posts
WINDY SPOTS
XTreme Poster



PostFri May 16, 14 8:56 pm    pretty sure she's ok Reply with quote

Someone will post up with more direct info, but she was freed from the buoy and transported by the sherriff. Eric R. tried to cut her loose, but she was caught in a rope attached )or tangled) at the buoy. Too much for his kite knife, which he lost. ( sidenote: my knife has a lanyard that attaches the knife to its sheath, note to self, attach knife to harness, it does me no good in the glove box!)

Buoys and fixed objects are bad, avoid them.

Carry a good kite knife, (I like the "bear claw", serrated with a blunt tip)

The water is still cold! Be prepared to spend an hour in it.

Hoping you are all right, M., glad it wasn't any worse!

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1639 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostSat May 17, 14 1:18 pm     Reply with quote

It was bad. I found her. She was trapped/floating about 15 feet West of the green buoy. Deflated kite. Lines wrapped around her and buoy. Her leash had wrapped around her AND a big log that was pinned behind her like a cross. Two different colored thick buoy ropes also inter-twined with everything. With the oncoming waves she was bobbing in and out of the water basically being water boarded.

The whole mess was underwater and you couldn't see shit except for the log as it bounced in and out of the water. She was yelling for help that she was trapped and couldn't get to her leash. Pulling any line tensioned the others pulled her under further.

She then basically saved herself and said "call 911, get a boat!"

So I pointed her out to Eric that she was tangled and watch her while I go get help. Rode to the White Salmon and flagged Kenja and a few guys to call 911 because she was drowning. Blast back. Told her a boat is coming she's going to be okay but it has already been at least 10 minutes and I have no idea how long she had been in the situation before I saw her. Eric gives her his surfboard for buoyancy and tries to cut her kite lines. The waves and current pop the surfboard around and she can't hang onto it. She is tired and panicked. Funky wind makes it hard to fly and not get caught in the ropes around her.

I don't have a %^$&$* knife so ride back to the WA Sandbar grab a knife, ride back and Eric is still working the lines. Rob D. is now circling and helping. Go upwind to grab Eric's board and flag down a sailboat to come help. Sailboat guy is solo but drops sail and heads towards her. He comes in hot and passes her, which is really lucky because thinking back there is no way that guy could have controlled his boat and helped her in the current. Finally see the Sheriff's boat blasting up the river towards us. Call off the sailboat and tell her sheriff's boat is coming and will be here in 1 minute. As Eric slashed at the lines he caught two of his leading lines, now barely hanging on by a thread, so he backs away so they don't snap and get tangled. We are all yelling everything was going to be okay and the boat is almost here but she's pale.

Thankfully she maintained buoyancy at the shoulder/neck area the entire time as she bobbed in and out so the 3 of us were basically just watching and talking to her but it is nothing short of a miracle that she wasn't slowly pulled under around the buoy line and lost.

What felt like 10 minutes later the Sheriff's boat arrives and starts grabbing her with a hook but the current and waves and line tension are brutal, pulling the boat towards the buoy and she goes back under. They throttled the boat hard and grabbed her, brought her to the side and yanking her up. This HUGE cluster of ropes, leash and log have her encased like a spider in her waist harness. She was NEVER going to get cut out it nor was she getting pulled out. Sheriff blasts back to the shore and to the hospital based on the sirens. (?) Not sure. She was in the water a long time and she weighs maybe 100 pounds with 0 percent body fat.

She was taken on so much water and was panicked but this girl, I think her name is Monica, has got to be one of the toughest, most hardcore women around because she was hog-tied around everything and the buoy and she knew it was bad and why she requested 911 early into this kitemare. Having the guys calling 911 from the Wunderbar was key.

Replayed the whole thing on shore with Eric and Rob and either she slacked her lines around the buoy, or she lost air as her kite was also deflated, but I do hope she updates the story. Played "could have/should have" all last night but I've never felt so helpless. I was lit on my 14m so if push came to shove I was going to ride up behind her and have her hold on to my harness to keep her up but that probably would have tightened and torn her based on how she was wrapped.

Strong girl. Very strong girl and so thankful for safety in numbers when it comes to Gorge kiting.

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stu5

Since 09 Mar 2009
61 Posts

 



PostSat May 17, 14 4:29 pm    Rescue Reply with quote

Kudos to the personnel, on the Sheriff's boat, for saving Monica. Standard kite knives were not going to cut the thick nylon rope that was intertwined with her leash and kite lines.
Beware of the west side of the green buoy, at the Wunderbar, the 25' nylon line is still attached to the buoy and awaiting its next unsuspecting victim. The next calm day will be reserved to remove this nemesis.

Last edited by stu5 on Sat May 17, 14 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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moondog

Since 15 Aug 2007
388 Posts
white salmon
Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostSat May 17, 14 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

I was watching the entire scenario. 10 minutes in I have my friend call 911. The sheriff is in Parkdale will be there as soon as possible. 30 minutes later with a sigh of relief we see the sheriff leaving the marina and he spends 5 minutes dealing with the current, channel marker and kite lines. Two kiters {Eric and Sella} come to the Wunderbar looking for knives before the sheriff arrives, this woman is desperate and needs help!I thank these two kiters trying to help which is a challenge in itself. I talked with the woman today and she said there was debris in the water {logs} that caught on her lines which exacerbated the situation.
The take away here is she is a very strong kiter that got caught in a bad situation. She had a full wetsuit, helmet and skills but mother nature caught up to her. DRESS for the SWIM home. I'm the dork on the beach: hoodie, gloves, booties and a wetsuit that is my ticket home! I hate to say it , but a tourist in the same situation wouldn't be walking the beach today.
She went to the ER, her body temp was 97, uncontrollable shakes, on an IV to bring her back to normal which took 3 hours.
It is up to us locals to stop the tourists in their leopard skin speedos heading for the water because it is 80 degrees outside and the livin is easy!
Thanks to the brothers out there trying to make a difference and watching out for their brethren!
On a side note "rescue dog Shawn" saved another kiter today and drug him in to the Wunderbar. We might have to hire you full time dude!

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moondog

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moondog

Since 15 Aug 2007
388 Posts
white salmon
Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostSat May 17, 14 7:01 pm     Reply with quote

The sheriff just called me, he would like Sella's and Eric's phone number to thank them for helping save her life. Send me a PM.
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moondog

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flipper

Since 17 Oct 2011
220 Posts

Stoked



PostSat May 17, 14 7:34 pm     Reply with quote

crazy story. makes me want to ride with a pair of blunt ambulance-style scissors.

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SpaceRacer

Since 04 Nov 2007
408 Posts

Obsessed



PostSat May 17, 14 9:12 pm     Reply with quote

Very scary. Thanks to Eric, Sella and the Sheriff's Department. Sounds like a situation that would have been best to avoid. But how? Creeoy. Glad she's OK. Hopefully she will post about her experience.

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OG

Since 07 Jun 2011
478 Posts

Obsessed



PostSat May 17, 14 10:27 pm     Reply with quote

eric and sella got a beer on my tab next time. good job fellas. thats gangster

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ShiverMeTimbers

Since 26 Feb 2013
370 Posts
Hood River
Obsessed



PostSat May 17, 14 11:46 pm     Reply with quote

big props to all involved.

thanks for sharing. This is a major reminder of how quickly things can go wrong, and how to be vigilant in looking out for one another.

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hilton

Since 15 Aug 2008
622 Posts

Addicted



PostSun May 18, 14 6:15 am     Reply with quote

Great Job!! Thankfully there were others around who were quick to jump in and help out, or this could have turned out a lot worse.

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Monica

Since 02 Aug 2006
19 Posts

 



PostSun May 18, 14 6:55 am    THANKYOU Reply with quote

Hi Everyone.

I am so grateful to all those that helped in any way during this
accident. Thank you.


I had 2 great sessions that day and I am looking forward to kiting out
East later today.



Much love and positive vibes to everyone.

Monica

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stringy

Since 23 Jun 2006
1553 Posts
vancouver
XTreme Poster



PostSun May 18, 14 7:04 am     Reply with quote

wow that is an amazing story! glad monica is doing good and ready for the next session!
sella and eric, very good work, looking forward to thanking you in person.
you guys represent gorge kiting at it's finest.

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4686 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostSun May 18, 14 7:18 am     Reply with quote

That sounded scary Monica!

Awesome everyone is looking out for each other - great work Sella & Eric and Hood River Sheriff Dept

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Go Deep!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uQITWbAaDx0

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4686 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostSun May 18, 14 9:12 am    Re: pretty sure she's ok Reply with quote

On a separate note:

dangler wrote:


Buoys and fixed objects are bad, avoid them.

Carry a good kite knife, (I like the "bear claw", serrated with a blunt tip)



Had that knife on my harness - but had the sheath loosened up after a few months and the knife fell out...

Just ordered one of these today:

http://www.rei.com/product/801862/nrs-co-pilot-river-knife

Know of at least one other kitemare at the coast with a crab pot

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Go Deep!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uQITWbAaDx0

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Blazeheliski

Since 30 Mar 2011
641 Posts
Wilsonville
Addicted



PostSun May 18, 14 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

Scary story! Glad to hear there were lots of people trying to help. I like these safety cutters. They will cut through kite lines, rope and webbing with one hand. If lines are wrapped around the body or skin - the blunt back allows you the get the cutter between the skin and the lines or webbing.
http://www.benchmade.com/products/5

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Mark

Since 20 Jun 2005
3590 Posts
I need my fix because I'm a
Naishaholic



PostSun May 18, 14 2:02 pm    Great kite/Dive knife Reply with quote

Have had this knife on my hip for over 10 years. Works great. Attaches the webbing of my harness. Make sure to get blunt tip. That way you can push it against your skin without cutting yourself.
http://store.coralseascuba.com/wenoka-big-squeeze-dive-knife-blunt/

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Cleverly disguised as an adult...

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