Nahant rescue

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Nahant rescue

A bunch of us are concerned that another rescue in Nahant today (after another one in Sept) may get them thinking of restricting or shutting us down.  Kiting at Long Beach in 30+ offshore winds not so good for our sport when this happens.  Dog Beach was great, (and safer).

Between that and the

Between that and the knuckleheads that are launching in the summer at high tide and riding in the swim zone. 

Agreed, we need to do better

Agreed, we need to do better somehow, but not sure how.  It is a good experience to kite there in a west wind, but now too many people are taking to it with too wide a range of prior experience.

Why does this happen? 

Why does this happen?  Because nobody is willing to ditch their kite.  All you have to do is release your kite and swim back to shore.  If you’re willing to engage in risky behavior, you should be willing let your kite go before putting other folks at risk.

The solution is simple.  $1,000 charge for rescue operations would give folks the incentive to ditch their kite.

so funny to hear you say this

so funny to hear you say this, because there is chat thread right now imploring the kiter not to ditch, because the kite is what will keep you afloat if you have a long swim.  I get that, except if you follow the rule of only riding close to shore in an offshore wind.  Some also argue that in a strong offshore wind, swimming against it is very exhausting very quickly.


I agree pay a fine.  The Libertarian approach simplifies and clarifies.  Kiteboarding is a relatively risky activity.  While I love kiting Nahant in offshore conditions, the waves are so nice, I also accept the responsibilty for the added risk of offshore conditions.  With that in mind, I always wear a flotation-impact vest in the event I need to ditch and swim in.  Wear adequate neoprene.  It's a bummer if hypothermia is your biggest challenge.  I also stay relatlively close to shore.  If you go down getting pushed out in an offshore wind happens quickly, but why add to the challenge.  I have a carabiner attached to a backup liine that I can clip on to my surfboard if something happens.  With the first sign of trouble I'd recover my board and clip on the line. That said in an strong offshore wind a surfboard will take off quickly and can be almost impossible to recover, respond quickly.  Ditching the kite would be the last option. Paddling in on my surfboard is but another means to get back in.   A whistle is another must have.  Have you ever tried shouting out on the water to get someones attention?  

If all else fails and I'd need a rescue, I'd accept this and understand that it was my responsibility and just pay the fine.  After all who else but me should be responsible?   I took the risk.  

Swimming against a strong

Swimming against a strong wind is exhausting.  While having adequate flotation won't help with this, it will keep you from drowning.  Hypothermia is another issue though - wear enough neoprene.  I found that if you swim across the angle of the wind you can be more successful getting back to shore.  

Ditching a kite is reasonable

Ditching a kite is reasonable but still needing to make a call to rescue. Kite still going to tangle somewhere so better maybe not best. I have yet to kite off-shore Nahant mainly becuase to do it right I recommend a inflatable boat with a small outboard ready on the beach. Im a good kiter and I trash allot of gear and figure I dont trust myself to have a kite defalte, rip, or need to eject.  Soluton is not to be lazy and have means of rescue. If you dont care to do that then IMO your a problem waiting to happen. Or your out there showing new riders how much risk your able to manage until you become or attract the problem. 

I think its a problem to require assitance, attract others that will require assistance, without bringing your own assistance. 100lb inflatble boat, 30lb 10hp outboard, and 5LB tank and get that on the beach. Then go kite with others that can also opperate the boat and you wont have to call a warship to pick you up. 

So I continue to not kite offshore Nahant. But you guys go ahead I guess. FYI this post is actually pointing to my friends the ones I love, no one else, and the same thing Id say in person so not flamming. One of you get a truck and a small boat set it up have a spot. Loose someone come in use boat. Be safe not lazy. Boats are 2k complete and easy to organzie off shore days with support and keep the action alive. 

I agree with you Johnny, I

I agree with you Johnny, I did not feel comfortable kiting offshore yesterday so I went to Dog wich was crazy enough with huge overpowering gusts. However the logistics of someone on call with a boat does not seem practical to me though it would be very cool, plus I've seen a comment that the kiter in question has been kiting alone offshore before (big no-no if true), the boat would be useless when engaging in unsafe kiting generally speaking.


pay for your own rescue

I agree with the "pay for your own rescue" mentality. There needs to be a deterrent. This works to some extent in the Colorado backcountry, and limits the public backlash, as public funds are not used to subsidize our hobby. Even an experienced kiteboarder will get into trouble in gusty off-shore conditions.

I completely disagree with

I completely disagree with the pay for rescue.

There are public services that should remain public services, what firefighter and USCG do is what they do, they are paid for it already through taxes, it's like if we had a social health insurance, everybody piches in and only use it as needed. It's not specific to our sport, they cover everything and thats how it should be. Otherwise you may as well start private rescue companies and that would not be right.

The fact that we should probably not kite offshore is another discussion, one of the first things I've learned when I took my kiting lessons was "never kite on offshore winds and avoid side shore as well". I was actually very suprised to witness it being practiced in the area.


So you're for lung

So you're for lung transplants for smokers?

Also, who do you think is paying for these "public services?"

So long as the powers to be

In response to geotrouvetout @ paying for public services. So long as the powers to be don't have to rescue kiters once too often. On the hierarchy of public needs, kiteboarders are quite low on that long list. The local gov't may decide that it's just easier to ban kiteboarding rather than push the budget. My friend who works in city govt says this kind thing happens all the time - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It's more of a legal-liability issue for city govts.  They'd rather not have to deal with it.  If I remember my biz law class, agreeing to pay a "fine" also implies taking responsibility.  This helps with whole holding the local govt responsible legal issue thing.    

Why leave it up to someone else to decide your fate. After all  it's not my neighbor's responsibilty to pay for someone like myself who's foolish enough to kite in an offshore breeze in 25 plus.  ;)  

Its hard to post about this

Its hard to post about this because I am not interested in being above the accident. I am not upset at anyone that has done it. Certainly not at those that have been rescued. Just I don't do it for the reason that if i'm not bringing my own rescue solution for the day and work out a buddy system to use it. then Im not part of the problem. You guys just keep enjoying yourselves and calling for help 1% of the time. Cause you can, no ones stopping you, and Im sure you kite a hell of allot better than me so it wont be an issue. Again addressed to people I know that I have earned the right to scold.

Its so bliss, its so epic, and god put it there to do it. We've all been rescued. Its selfish is what it is without a rescue solution. If there was no warship to rescue you at Nahant on offshore winds then 6 people I know would be fucking dead! We would have a post raising money for there families.

If the coast guard was not there you would be insane. I don't like people I care about to do insane things.

Why not mandate an Oh Sh$t Kit?

This is mine. It cost $250. Small price to pay. 


$250 is cheap but there is a

$250 is cheap but there is a monthly fee for the ACR isn't it?


I def think the kite is a must

That kit is great idea. But specifically Nahant offshore you are only going because should something happen you can call for help from coast guard. I'm saying we all know offshore kiting takes the ability for self-rescue from us. Calling a boat that big is not an option. It's like knocking on a police officers door cause it's late and you want a ride home. The coast guard won't say no but why would we ever ask? If they were not there, then you would die. No possible return. A few of my friends would be dead. So that did not happen because of the rescues so we keep at it?!?! We never had a wake up (thank god). You can't kite off shore without risk. Between the 20 guys that love off shore buy Dylan a small lightweight 8ft inflatable boat small 8hp engine ask to leave it. Bring to the beach ahead of time just like organizing a downwinder and dropping a car. If not enough time in the day kite dog that day. If you have many hours and can arrange then go kill it!

If you think im nuts its fine. Just we have all been there needing a rescue and its bound to happen often with 20 kiters. Ill be deleting my comments soon. Just always wanted to say this and never had the chance. I have this boat and I wish I was in the city more than the Cape or id be offering to do all the effort myself to make these weekend days as epic as they should be.

Reminds me of the rule don't kite in the swim zone. I never do yet watch my pals do it all day when convenient. I thought we all understood but then I'm always left baffled.

JD plz leave your comments

You are making so much sense I hope you won't delete your comments. If people are doing this they need to hear. In other places kiting has been banned because kiters needed rescue and could not be trusted to use common sense. I'm so tired of kitesurfers acting carelessly & with no regard for the consequences of their actions. This is how we lose access, and will never get it back if the authorities can't trust us. It doesn't do the group any good to point the finger at 1 or 2 people and say s/he's the bonehead, don't blame us. They look at us as a group, a collective, and decide accordingly if we're smthg they want to deal with or not.

There is no need to kite in

There is no need to kite in offshore winds in this area. Just go somewhere else. 

When the town is sitting down

When the town is sitting down looking at their budget, rescuing kiters will not be a prority.

I think JD comments are spot on..

Dylan is the beaches best

Dylan is the beaches best ambassador. The budget is $1000-2000 for the boat complete get the smallest/lightest option no trailer just carry. He is right nearby kites there more than anyone. Id suggest talking to him about the possibilities. Raise the coin, get him a boat, and let it be his to use as he pleases. Take the burden off his hands so he is not "on call" by going and getting it when needed. With wheels he/you can load gear and walk it to the beach. This is what I do with mine I pull it from the van and walk it super easy. 

I was suggesting I'd delete

I was suggesting I'd delete my comments at some point only because next time a rescue occurs (not if but when) and the Fire Dept and/or Coast Gaurd who has so kindly posted here might read this thread. I am not trying to lay out the fact that kiting Long Beach offshore relies on their assistance. Its unique to the other situations that occur in kitable winds which we apprecate their help not take advantage.

The new Mk that is 1.5 months in dev will have private discussion again. Something we need. 

Tragedy of the commons...

When you take chances while riding that behavior imposes a cost on all of us.  Every time public resources need to be used to bail you out it hurts all our access.  Maybe its only probabalistically but if it happens frequently enough, and once may be frequently enough for some in authority, all our access can be taken away.

Yes I know its super deluxe to ride surf off shore wind, etc. and so forth.  When you do that you are enjoying a private good ( your truely outstanding session ) while imposing a public cost on all of us.  We share in the cost of potentially having to bail you out with others who are not at all sympathetic to the beauty of the sport, your  passion, the clarity it brings and other mumbo jumbo you use to convince yourself that its worth putting your interests above the community's.

So.. Please don't take stupid chances because the you should know that the right response by authorities to your risk taking behavior is to prevent you from engaging in it.  In the process of implementing this response, my and the entire community's responsible kiteboarding options will probably be curtailed.

We have seen this regulatory response in too many places to count and it is probably at the root of the restrictions on on our kiteboarding fun.  A few bad outcomes, that are the result of just a few poor decisions, can ruin it for everyone.

Don't be the guy that ruins it at Nahant!


How do we measure risk?

That day it was WSW. If someone had a gear malfunction, they could self rescue and land in Swampscott. If they were carrying a cell phone, they could tell everyone they were fine. If they had to ditch their gear, their buddy could kite out to them and drag them to Swampscott. If they weren't going to make Swampscott and they were carrying a PLB, they could call for a rescue.

I think these measures would lower the risk enough to make it very, very unlikely one would need an emergency rescue.

Hey woo crew, there is

Hey woo crew, there is another idea for the 3rd gen device. Include an emegency function into the device. How cool would that be?

People get rescued all the

People get rescued all the time swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, boating, and kayaking. We should fall into this same category. But, there is no deterrent to taking unnecessary/calculated risks other than "don't kill yourself". 

To those who are rescued: I would expect you to make a generous donation to the Nahant FD (or whatever agency pulls you out of the water)

Not many kiters carry a PLB; If I had one, I would probably take bigger risks, like kiting in side-off and off-shore winds.

Are we in the 90's? Forget the boat

Drone surf towing is a thing. Not only can it pull you around on non wind days but it can be a rescue vehicle and it fits in the trunk with your gear.

This thing looks sweeet


@Noah: So if one idiot wants to play in traffic...

it's ok for others to follow suit?

Ridiculous, kiters need to be smarter because we're the first user group to be banned.

As a municipal firefighter paramedic myself, let me point out that while some group of boneheads might be tying up all local resources on an unnecessary rescue, someone's child or loved one could be dying or suffer a life changing disability because rescue personnel were not available to respond quickly and have to come from a neighboring town.

Tying up public rescue resources is no joke. Listen to JD & come up with your own plan for rescue.

Indeed this thread is about

Indeed this thread is about mitigating risk.  I do not have the hubris to say I will never need a rescue, but I will tell you that I have a pretty solid plan in place for self-rescue no matter where I launch and land.  It is called a survival instinct.  It may take a while for me to get to shore but I'll get there.  I think each rider employs his/her own techniques to mitigate those risks, whether they decide to replace their lines and tune their bar system on regular basis, whether they choose to wear a pfd, whether they attempt the big air or ride conservatively.  To gauge your decision on where to ride based on whether some lemming will follow you just because they see you seems a little far-fetched.  This is why I do get bothered when I see someone enter the water in demanding conditions (30-40 knots of offshore breeze) with a poorly controlled launch, flying a 10-year-old kite, and then I learn that he hadn't wound up his lines when the rescue boat arrived.

My survival instinct kicked in twice that day.

1. I saw my friends going off shore but I remembered rule #1, never kite off shore, and decided not to be that lemming. I also listened to Frank who is a very experienced kiter I respect who had also called it quit on the off shore fun after experiencing overpowering gusts on a smaller kite I was going to pump.

2. I got taken for a ride by my kite twice on strong gusts on the other side (Dog) and my survival instinct kicked in to call it a day and go home safely.

I think it took me more time to get in and out of my wetsuit that day than I was on the water.



I feel compelled to chime in here.  As a longtime inshore and offshore sailor and lifetime waterman, I'm all for preparing for the unforseen.  It's practical, it's responsible and it's our responsibility when we put ourselves in potentially dangerous situations that we are clearly aware are dangerous.  It seems to me that carrying a PLB and kiting offshore seems pretty reckless.  Expecting the coastguard to rescue us when we intentionally put ourselves in danger, is reckless.  It puts rescuers lives at risk, it puts the Coast Guard in a position to make decisions about deploying limited assetts to the rescue that is most life threatening and may put the life of someone else in danger when those assets are rescuing a kiter (that knew they were engaging in a high risk behavior and planning on a PLB resue if things go badly).  

I'm not saying folks carrying PLBs are thinking this way, but I wanted to make sure I threw this out for thought.  Additionally, the Coast Guard will charge you for your rescue if they deem you were negligent or reckless in your behavior.  Be careful out there.


Personally I have never

I have never ridden at Nahant. I can tell you that this time of year with the Water being colder I personally would not go and would be hesitant to go in the summer with the offshore winds. 
Shit happens fast and you can easily go from very close to shore to totally screwed in a short period of time. Not worth it for me .

emergency services

i want to chime in,  i am a local electrician, and i know for a fact, nusance calls do get charged back to someone, if the Fire alarm in a building gets set off multipule times, they will bill the party causing it, and or, shut the building down.  and in our case shut the beach down to us

i am still a newbie myself w/ 2 years experience and i wouldnt be out there in offshore winds,  expecially with dog right there,

I am on duty at Coast Guard

I am on duty at Coast Guard Station Gloucester the next couple days. 12/15/16-12/16/16 and other days this winter.If your brave enough to go out in the cold and try to kite please be very careful if it's offshore at Nahant rescue is going to be hard for fire department or other local rescues. We will most likely be the responders which will take us over a hour to get to you. I love kiting big winds but this one is going to be one for the records please be smart out there if your going out or just stay inside .

Thank you

Great announcement and thank you.  I will be inside




staying proactive

Me and Dylan have met with Nahant Fire Chief Michael Feinberg and also attended Town meeting to see what the mood is like. 

Current status:

1) Local Nahant community like to see kiteboarders enjoying local beaches.

2) Nahant population is around 3,400 and fire department budget is quite small, which means that department goes to "overdrive mode" each time water rescue takes place. They have to bring additional firefighters on call to cover the station while guys are out.

During our meeting we have showed verbal support and hinted on possible mini fund rising (drop in a bucket for the budget) as a token of appreciation.

We promised as a community to do better job at preventing rescue missions in a first place and put firefighter guys at risk as little as possible.

First - we are considering to offer free refreshing self rescue skill session for any beginner kiters and/or who ever wants to join or help and

Second - risk assessment 

This particular rescue mission took place when most intermediate/ advanced kiters came to shore with wind gusting 40 knots but 3 beginner kiters kept practicing body dragging on side offshore wind. Seems like common sense but it really needs to be proficient kiters (self rescue experts) only in the offshore, and you need to have a practiced plan to get back to the beach under any condition (wind, gear failure, etc).  Also call NFD as soon as you can to let them know you are ok. 

Third - we agreed to come up with some signage, which would be installed by Town of Nahant

Otherwise I still do love seeng Dylan taking his kayak on rescue missions and than paddle back against wind :) That really keeps him in shape.


I can help with signs,  let me know what you need.






thanks for being proactive, I will happily kick in on funding for Nahant fire dept