Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Surfer Tossed Like Rag Doll by Tropical Storm Fay - Videos

Emergency officials warned everyone to find shelter during Tropical Storm Fay, but perhaps a Fort Lauderdale man decided that the warning did not apply to him.

26-year-old Kevin Kearney was thrill seeking while kite surfing in the rough surf off Fort Lauderdale beach Monday when Tropical Storm Fay decided to take Kearney for a ride.

A strong gust of wind from Fay hurtled down the beach and caught Kearney and his kite by surprise.

The wind slammed Kearney into the sandy beach, and then just as quickly picked him up again dragging him across the beach, across the street and then smashed him into the side of a nearby building.

It was almost as if the storm had a mind of its own and decided to punish the kite surfer for daring to surf while Fay was in town.

Said WFOR Engineer Anthony Romano who was nearby filming the wrath of the storm, "I'm surprised he didn't get hit by a car because we have (highway) A1A right here. I think it was a miracle that he just flew over the street and into the thing."

WFOR photographer Yuseith Osorio thought that Kearney was carried away by a forming waterspout. "Basically, we were getting ready to go live and I saw something forming up in the sky. I told Pete, 'Hey, careful, something's forming.'"

Witnesses to the event quickly ran to aid the injured Kearney, who lay on the ground crumpled up and in pain. Paramedics soon arrived at the scene and transported Kevin to Broward General Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition. Kevin’s friends insist he will make a full recovery.

Kearney's family released a statement saying, "Kevin is an experienced kite-boarder and an all around great guy. We ask that you keep Kevin in your prayers and respect our privacy."

Kearney was harnessed into his sail but the harness does have emergency releases. But it is possible that everything happened so fast that he had no time to think about releasing the harness.

The first video is an initial report of the kite dragging:

The second video is an updated report by the same TV station.

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