Lost kite prompts unnecessary rescue operation

September 24, 2010 | Kiteboarding

Tahunanui Beach: a kite learning centre

A Nelson kitesurfer who lost his kite in gusty winds at Tahunanui Beach yesterday afternoon is embarrassed he prompted a pointless search operation.

The Nelson Surf Life Saving Club and a Nelson City Council launch warden were sent to search for a supposed kitesurfer in the rough water near Rocks Rd, after the kite was spotted in the sea.

Moral: If you lose gear on or near the water, report it so it doesn't trigger a search call-out. The surf life-saving club is regularly called out to save kitesurfers in trouble and is urging enthusiasts to be better prepared.

The kitesurfer, who was too embarrassed to be identified, told the Nelson Mail the strength of the wind ripped the back of his harness which the kite's safety leash was attached to.

The kite took off and he chased it down the beach, but it ended up in the water. He had been flying the kite on the beach, but did not intend to hit the water as it was too windy. 

On the way home he saw police and stopped to tell them what happened. He had given up on the kite which he thought had gone. "I should have called the cops straight away, but didn't have a phone."

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