Hatteras Island, Pamlico Sound

A Canadian kiteboarder who was soaring about 40 feet above Pamlico Sound was killed when a fierce wind blew in suddenly and made him fall from the sky Saturday.

"The weather came in fast - you could see it on the horizon," said Carl Giordano, marketing director with Real Watersports in Waves. "My understanding is that everyone had trouble getting their kites under control."

It's the first fatal kiteboarding accident on Hatteras Island, Giordano said. He said the man in the accident was not a Real Watersports customer.

Giordano said that when the front came through shortly before 6 p.m., the wind spiked from about 15 mph to about 35 mph in less than a minute.

Eyewitness accounts reported that the man was dragged in the water by the kite after he fell.

"He either hit something physical in the water or the impact of the water is what knocked him unconscious," Giordano said.

Dare County Chief Deputy Sheriff Phillip Etheridge said the kiteboarder had been riding about 70 feet off Bluefish Court near the north end of Avon. He reportedly was face down in the water for about 15 minutes before rescuers could get to him, Etheridge said.

Twiford's Funeral Home identified the man as Timothy Holman, 49, of Sarnia, Ontario.

Giordano said that Hatteras, with shallow sounds and stiff winds, is a top destination for kiteboarding.

"The real lesson learned here for everyone is... that front was predicted all day," he said. "It was Easter weekend. People want to get their sessions in, and they forget that that big dark cloud is bad."

Whether you think of a kite as a wing or a sail, you want it to be lightweight, resistant, waterproof, but also stiff and flexible at the same time, so that they could respond to all flight requests.

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