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Safety Notice Crissy field and greater San Francisco Bay
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 320

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:26 pm    Post subject: Safety Notice Crissy field and greater San Francisco Bay Reply with quote

The San Francisco Board Sailing Association encourages everyone to not sail alone, everyone to carry a Coast guard radio, whistle and strobe light. Make sure everyone is accounted for back in the parking lot in your group. ​​We were extremely lucky this weekend that a sailor was not lost at sea.
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1191

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any details on the story for "Lessons Learned"?
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1604
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the kiter posted an account of her ordeal online, and it has been shared publicly now, so I'll re-post what she wrote:

Iím writing this as a post in FB because FB is good at telling you memories from years ago and I want to be reminded many years from now of how lucky I am to still be alive!
So....
last Saturday/Sunday(2/22-2/23), I had the most harrowing experience of my life! Iím posting it because there are so many lessons to be learned from this experience.
As some of you know, I started kiteboarding about 8-9 yrs ago. It is a little bit of an extreme sport and it does come with some dangers. I had my share of close calls with it which is true to most kiteboarders but through the years, Iíve gotten to the point that I felt I could handle most situations. And I guess thatís when one gets careless.
Last Saturday, I went kiting at Crissy Field by the Golden Gate Bridge. Iíve kited there many times before so I felt comfortable kiting there. I did not charge my marine radio so did not bring it. I had my Apple Watch and I phone with me . Iíve used my Apple Watch in the past in the water and it worked with no problem. I was gonna kite with some friends that Iíve kited with before and when I got there, there were a lot of other kiters around. The tide was going out and Crissy is notorious for having a strong tide but Iíve kited in that situation before. I donít use old gear so I had no reason to think there would be something wrong with it. When I went out, I was gonna bring my phone but I figured the watch was enough. When I went out, the wind was iffy from the beach to Anita Rock so as soon as I was able to get up on my foil board, I went farther to more stable wind. I noticed that I was heading closer to the bridge than I wanted to be so I turned around to head back further down the bridge. Just then, my kite started behaving abnormally then after several attempts at getting up on my board, it deflated. I guess it had a leak that I wasnít aware of. I started to self rescue and within about 20 minutes, the tide took me out to open ocean. There were a lot of other kiters and I was thinking for sure, somebody saw me and would call the Coast Guard . What I did not count on was that since the waves were kinda big that day, with a deflated kite, it was hard to see me . I tried using my Apple Watch to call 911 but Siri kept saying ďI canít do thatĒ. I tried calling some people to call 911 for me but Siri couldnít do it either. It was around 3 pm and I knew that low tide was around 4pm so I did not waste my energy trying to swim against the tide. I was way out in the ocean with big waves around me and it was really scary! Plus the thought that there are sharks in open water and big boats regularly pass by that area and they would not have seen me. Terrifying!!! But I could not lose my wits because it was the only thing that would save me since I am small and not a super strong swimmer. It was getting dark and I kept thinking for sure, somebody would have noticed that my car was in the parking lot with my little dog crying inside and they would know I was missing by then and somebody would call the coast guard. My big white SUV was right at the entrance of the kite area by the bathroom and it was obviously a kiterís car because it was full of gear.
Luckily, I was wearing a 6/5 Ion wetsuit and an extra 2 mm jacket, a swim cap and helmet, and a life jacket. No gloves or booties though. It was also lucky that there was wind so I used my kite and the remaining air in it as a sail and since the tide was coming in, I guessed that it would bring me closer to the bridge. I knew the layout of San Francisco dice the streets go up and it was lit so I directed my kite/sail towards there. I also had some sailing experience so I kinda made the shape of my kite like a Spinnaker. I tried not to splash too much since I did not want to attract sharks with my nervous energy. And it was working although slowly. By then, it was very dark and I was very tired and I wanted to sleep but I knew that if I slept, I would be dead. I managed to get closer to Fort Point area I think judging from the size of the waves and huge rocks. It must have been about 11 pm by then. All of a sudden, a helicopter started circling around where I was and I heard a boat coming towards me so I thought ďthank God!!!!Ē. I started waving my kite so they would see me. I even felt that the helicopter spotlight was on me. I also saw ambulance light up the hill in the distance. I kept waving my white kite . The helicopter kept circling around and the boat started to head towards me. They were about 100 ft from me. And I just kept waving my white kite- then all of a sudden, they drove away and the helicopter took off and even the ambulance left! It was very strange! I was utterly screwed!!! Luckily, there was still wind. I knew the tide will eventually turn again and I was trying to reach land so it was a combination of madly propelling myself towards land, the wind pushing my kite/sail and the big waves that pushed me towards shore. There were big rocks and and thank God for the helmet, my head was protected. I couldnít walk anymore so I crawled to what I thought was an easy way up to the path where people would see me. But no!!! This has got to be the gnarliest thickest thorniest bush/felled trees combination I have been in! I was so tired and all I wanted to do was sleep but I knew that if I slept, Iíd be dead and nobody would even find me for months- maybe never! And maybe because my hands and feet were so numb, I was propelling my body and stepping on thorny bushes without even feeling it- now I do because the thorns are still in my feet and itís all cut up. And then a very strange thing! In the middle of this very dense thorny bush, there was a cave with a wood door and a voice suddenly saidĒwhat are you doingĒ and a dog started barking. I thought this person could kill me and I would never be found again so I used my remaining strength to use a combination of rolling my body and crawling until I finally found a path going up into the open by the Legion of Honor Museum. The place was totally deserted so I walked another mile to more populated area and started flagging people. The first 3 drove away- I must have looked like a crazy woman with an orange helmet and a wetsuit on full of dirt at 4 am (my watch was flickering sporadically before it finally died so I knew it was 2:24 am when I reached the beach). I finally found a very kind hearted young woman who agreed to take me to Crissy Field when I told her about my tiny dog waiting for me and said just pay it forward, didnít even charge me. It was 6 am by the time I got to my car and my poor dog who has been inside the car since 2 pm the day before😞
Lessons learned:
In Crissy, when something goes wrong, it can go wrong very very fast so always be prepared for the worst.

1. Having a marine radio is a must and just as a form of redundancy, a cell phone in a waterproof container.
2. Wearing proper clothing is an absolute necessity- I would have died of hypothermia if I was not wearing the proper outfit. The Ion 6/5 performed above and beyond- my body was not cold at any point.
3. I was kiting with some friends but Crissy was crazy that day.Apparently, there were 4 other rescues and in the mayhem, nobody even noticed that I was missing and nobody saw me because I was already out in the ocean so in the end, keeping your wits about you when things fall apart can save you. Luck had a lot to do with it too- I guess it wasnít my time.

_________________
Kevin Kan
Sunset Sailboards, San Francisco CA
http://www.sunsetsailboards.com
https://www.instagram.com/sunsetsailboards
http://www.facebook.com/sunsetsailboards
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 320

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This could have easily been a windsurfer whose tendon broke like last summer who lost his board and rig, and was towed in by a kite-boarder.
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1604
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how many rescues were there at Crissy last weekend?
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Kevin Kan
Sunset Sailboards, San Francisco CA
http://www.sunsetsailboards.com
https://www.instagram.com/sunsetsailboards
http://www.facebook.com/sunsetsailboards
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rigitrite



Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 498
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THAT....is a scary story! That's one tough kiter!
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 320

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevinkan wrote:
how many rescues were there at Crissy last weekend?



Too Many 4 Sat, 2 Sun.

Gusty wind, strong ebb, people out of their skill level for the conditions and cheeping out on gear and ignorance of south tower wind shadow etc. This includes non- locals coming to crissy or beginning foilers.

Counting Evangeline would have been 5 for Sat.


Last edited by Riptide on Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1570

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kevin,

That is an amazing story. I am so glad you are OK.

I try to always carry a tiny strobe light and whistle with me when I am out in big water like way outside in La Ventana or at the north tower. It is extremely hard to attract attention once you are down especially in the dark. While a helicopter or boat can see a strobe from many miles away in the dark. A radio is critical but they can easily fail while a strobe is pretty bullet proof since it has only one "O" ring sealed opening.

The old fashioned strobe lights are brighter but the new LED manually activated strobe light are cheap and effective. It is worth $20 to $50 to avoid a long scary night swim.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rescue+strobe+light&crid=2TMI6OPSDNNJ7&sprefix=rescue+strobe%2Caps%2C256&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 904
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:42 pm    Post subject: The story was about an un named kiter not Kevin Reply with quote

The story was about an un named kiter not Kevin
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1133

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The story was about an un named kiter not Kevin Reply with quote

ctuna wrote:
The story was about an un named kiter not Kevin


To be honest the story feels a bit made up, lot of details that make little sense (waving the kite at the coast guard? Big rocks, thanks god for the helmet? dog barking? rolling and crawling?).

But the gist is no surprise. The number of kiters rescued on a daily basis during the season is quite staggering. Kite Foiling can just make thing worse, as it gives people a false sense of security it can go in very light wind but ... they are still on a non-floating device. Funny that this kiter thinks that conditions were extreme (they were not), but still goes out, and then gets in trouble.
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