61-year-old kitesurfer Fred Salter of Fort Lauderdale died after he was carried more than 400ft by a sudden gust of wind on a Florida beach before crashing into the side of a house.
Fellow surfers told news agencies that Salter was an experienced kitesurfer and could have either let go of the kite or pushed the release buttons to detach himself from the kite.
Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan confirmed that Salter was wearing a harness secured to his body.
Friends had warned Salter that it would be incredibly windy during the day, and a weather advisory from the Broward County had been issued just minutes before.
According to friends, Salter, a father, grandfather, and cancer survivor, died doing what he loved.
“He loved what he did, and [he was] one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’m just in shock right now,” said friend Heather Hentges.
“I can’t believe it. I’m just so sad for him.”
Witnesses said the wind picked up just after 9 a.m. One witness said it felt like it was 50 mph winds.
The man’s car has been towed from the scene.