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Florida kite surfer dies after high winds slammed him into beachside house

Kite surfer, 61, who ignored friends’ weather warnings is killed after sudden gust of wind lifted him off Florida beach, carried him 400 feet and slammed him into a house

  • Fred Salter, of Fort Lauderdale, was carried crashed into the second floor of aa home on the 2600 block of North Atlantic Blvd
  • He survived the accident but dies three hours later at the hospital
  • Salter was an experienced kite surfer and is not clear why he didn’t let go of the kite that lifted him in the air 
  • Friends had warned Salter that high winds had been forecast for the day of his death

Fred Salter, 61, died after a session of kite surfing went wrong and he was lifted by the high winds and crashed into a beach house 

A 61-year-old kite surfer who ignored friends’ warnings of dangerous weather died after he was picked up by a sudden gust of wind on a Florida beach and slammed into the side of a beach house.

Fred Salter, of Fort Lauderdale, was carried more than 400ft by the air before crashing into the second floor of a house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd.

He survived the accident and was taken to a hospital around 10am on Wednesday, but died three hours later. 

Chief Stephen Gollan, from the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, said Salter was wearing a harness secured to his body.

Fellow surfers told the Sun Sentinel they weren’t sure why Salter didn’t let go the kite, or why he didn’t push the two release buttons on his harness to detach himself from the kite. 

Salter was described as an experienced kite surfer.

He devoted his social media to  posting pictures of him practicing the sport, which is similar to surfing but a kite is used to take advantage of the wind as fuel, while flips and twists are performed as the surfing board is propelled by waves.

Graham Goodwin, owner of a kitesurfing business in Fort Lauderdale beach and an acquittance of Salter, told the Sentinel that letting go of the kite would have given Salter a 90 percent chance of avoiding the accident. 

Salter was described as an experienced kite surfer by friends and fellow surfers

Salter was described as an experienced kite surfer by friends and fellow surfers 

Fellow kite surfers are not sure why Salter didn't let go of the wind that lifted him 400ft up in the air

Fellow kite surfers are not sure why Salter didn’t let go of the wind that lifted him 400ft up in the air 

He crashed into the second floor of this house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd

He crashed into the second floor of this house on the block of 2600 North Atlantic Blvd

Goodwin also said Salter never touched the water, and was above ground the entire duration of the incident. 

Salter had been warned by friends that it was going to be specially windy during the day, and a weather advisory from the Broward County had been issued just minutes before.

‘He could be a little bit reckless at times,’ said Goodwin. ‘But he was out there often. He was very experienced.’ 

'He could be a little bit reckless at times, but he was out there often. He was very experienced,' said Graham Goodwin, the owner of a kite surfing store and acquittance of Salter

‘He could be a little bit reckless at times, but he was out there often. He was very experienced,’ said Graham Goodwin, the owner of a kite surfing store and acquittance of Salter

Kite surfing is very similar to surfing, but a kite is used so the wind works as fuel to lift the surfing board

Kite surfing is very similar to surfing, but a kite is used so the wind works as fuel to lift the surfing board

Salter had been warned by friends that there would be high winds during the day

Salter had been warned by friends that there would be high winds during the day 

Michael Bradley (right), a friend of Salter(left), expressed on Facebook his sadness about the accident

Michael Bradley (right), a friend of Salter(left), expressed on Facebook his sadness about the accident 

Friends and fellow kite surfers expressed their sadness after the accident on Facebook. 

Michael Bradley, a friend of Salter, wrote on Facebook: ‘Lost one of my best friends today, love you.’ 

Bradley dedicated another post to Salter, in which he shared pictures of the late surfer throughout the years.  

‘Oh Mikey, wish I had the words to comfort you. 

‘My heart is also broken and I am trying to make sense of the loss of our friend. 

‘All I can think about is the many wonderful things I learned from having him in my life. 

‘My deepest condolences to you my friend and to his sweet family. It will be his love and example that will see us through,’ replied another friend of Salter. 

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