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Kiter death at Belmont
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Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 3312
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dabull - Point taken you new age metro sexual guy Very Happy . I thought twice about posting it but this unfortunate situation does put an exclamation point on the argument that a few of us have been trying to make.

BTW - put on your reading glasses man, it's "JP", NOT "JR".

Nealpar - why the big words? Some of us Gay, Old, Softbellied Kooks don't know what they mean.
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Joined: 15 Dec 1995
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just awful - in venues like this its tough to know if this is one of the guys you wave to out there or talked with while waiting for the wind to come up. Just hope he had a ton of fun doing this thing we all love before fate dropped that card on him.

PS - Bull's right - knife pocketed at the small of your back could end up being useless - in many cases I'm sure the decision to cut would be reached only after the situation had turned into a big ugly screaming ball of crap. Sheathed safety knife in front with pull loop gives the best chance in what could be a highly chaotic scenario.
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Joined: 15 May 1997
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KB, that link was a really touching account of someone who "gets it" and went the extra mile. Thank you for sharing. We can all learn something from that. Tom
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Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 372
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, I'm very sorry for posting the "AD" on this page......I was responding directly to Rowena's comment about whitewater kayaking......It wasn't an attempt to make please don't beat me up next time you see me at the beach Smile

obviously it was a freak accident since he was a good kiter. RIP

Last edited by coolmtnbiker048 on Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 08 May 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Southern Cal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Rest In Peace Reply with quote

I saw this accidental death on the forum page this morning and thought about some close calls I've had windsurfing and kiting over the last 27 years. This sailor got caught up in his lines and drowned, not unlike a windsurfer who drowned at the Gorge in 1988 while I was sailing. There was a lot of ranting and raving from windsurfers about how deadly kiting is compared to windsurfing, a shot at the lifeguards and that everyone should carry a knife to cut lines with.

I am saddened that someone lost his life while my friends and I were a mile downwind having fun. When I was younger hang gliding, I always thought if I died hang gliding it was worth it because I died doing something I loved doing. I saw a lot of people lose their lives in the early days of that sport. My motto lessened when I nearly drowned in Hawaii and nearly got run over by the Barge windsurfing at the Gorge. Life became a little more precious after those experiences.

All I can do is be present in the moment and be grateful now. Yesterday is gone, the future is not here yet, I can only be happy that we may live another evening and sail together on the great mother. My heart goes out to him and his family and friends. At least he passed doing something he loved.

We all love the wind and water, this is a brotherhood of the elements. It does not matter how we play or our level of experience, what matters is that we are aware of what is happening around us and if we can help someone if they need assistance.
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Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 166
Location: Mars satellite

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to ikitesurf to see if I could find any information about the man who died at Belmont kitesurfing. I decided to cut and paste the following from his sister-in-law, since so many of you at this forum posted condolences and sent your prayers and thoughts. He obviously loved the ocean, as we all do, so it's important I think to remember him and send his family our prayers.

To the kite surfing community and to all of you who were so kind and caring to write about what you saw, heard about, thought, or feel about the person who has died in this horrible accident. His name was Yam (aka Lee to our family) Poh Chua. I am Theresa, the sister-in-law of Lee, and on behalf of our family we thank you for your condolences and concerns. I am married to Leeís 2nd oldest brother, Bobby. Lee is the youngest of four brothers. The other two brothers are living in Malaysia. His mother in Malaysia is broken-hearted. We are all broken-hearted. We are all in a state of shock right now as we only found out Sunday around 1pm. The wound is so deep and fresh. But, I felt I needed to say something about my brother-in-law, Lee. My own brother found a few website forums that talked about Leeís tragedy this past weekend. I read some of it and was overwhelmed by the sincere thoughts and concerns of complete strangers and thought they should know who our Lee was.

Lee came to the U.S. to study in the field of computer engineering at DeVry around 2001 and stayed with his brother, my husband Bobby. They were alone and only had each other in the U.S. I married Bobby in 2005 and Lee lived with us for about a year until he moved out to be on his own in downtown Long Beach. He worked for DirecTv where he was an engineer and was very well liked and respected by his co-workers and managers. He was a very good hearted, dedicated, and kind person. He was always generous and thoughtful in his dealings with people. Never ever did he give anyone problems, and he loved his mother more than anything in the world. To some, he may seem just very smart, quiet and private, but to friends and family he was a truly wonderful person. He loved the outdoors, and loved cooking for friends and family.

Last Monday, on Labor Day was the last time Bobby and I saw him. We came to visit him and checked out his place. We were going to go Kayaking but it was such a hot day that we decided just to hang out instead. I remember the three of us walking to Rock Bottom from his apartment. I remember feeling so happy to see the two brothers spending some time with each other, which was not often in the past few years because of our busy lives. Who would know that that day would be the last day that we would ever see of him? I remember that he said that he was going to go kite surfing after we leave his apartment, and after confirming with one of his friends today, he did actually made it out to the beach but there was no wind so he did not do it. Instead, he went kite surfing the following weekend which was on this tragic Saturday, September 8th where he was pronounced dead just before 5pm. It appeared he went alone, and we still donít know all the details and may never know. It is so sudden and so sad, especially that we were not there for him. We are all upset, angry, sad, devastated, confusedÖ.As of right now, his body is still at the Coronerís in L.A. We still donít know what happened exactly to him until they perform the examination (autopsy). I donít know if weíll ever know. We just pray that he did not suffer long in the ocean water alone and that it happened quickly so that he didnít have to feel so much pain. We are still in the process of making funeral arrangements and will bring his remains back to a grieving, broken-hearted mother and family. We are deeply devastated.

On behalf of our family, we want to thank you for your concerns, condolences, and attention, and hope that all kite surfers will always surf safely and pray that nothing like this will happen to any of you or your loved ones. We also want to personally thank a fellow kite surfer by the name of Faycal who has such a good heart and was so determined to help and find out who our Lee was and who was his family. He went to the hospital to make sure his family was there for him but ofcourse we were not there, found our poor Leeís backpack and keys, notified the police, and helped identify his body at the Coroner's. What if Faycal wasnít there that day? We donít want to even think about it. We know that there must be some friends out there like Faycal who knew Lee, but may not know his name and hope that this letter will to some degree help bring forth some amount of closure to those who need it. Though we will be so busy in the next few weeks, Bobby and I have been in touch with Faycal and will keep him posted of what is going on.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Family of Yam Poh Chua
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Joined: 19 Mar 1997
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: LET'S STEP UP! Reply with quote

Wow, Poh's relative's letter got to me! Would anyone be up for taking up donations to send flowers or better, establish or contribute to a W/S -Kiter watersafety program in his name? Does anyone know this person Faycal as it sounds like he has an established raport with the family. Maybe the iWindsurf/iKitesurf people would be kind enough to recomend such an organization and post one of those side column ads as they did for Fede from Maui. Let's toss this one around and show Poh's family we care and he will not be forgotten! Aloha, Bull
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Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 653

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, that was a tough one. It must be horrible for the family, especially the mother in Malaysia. It'll be hard for her to understand why her son was so compelled to harness the wind. Landlubbers don't get it at all. Ancients: Do you remember a 70's bumpersticker that said "Crave the feeling"? While I don't think that it was related to wind, the affinity we have for our respective sports is indeed beyond the corporeal. It's a cosmic dictate.

I agree with daBull, regarding a fund for the family. Being that I don't contribute to any religious organization (I'm an agnostic), I appreciate being able to give directly to worthy causes. This is surely one.
It would sure be helpful if someone had a newspaper article that contained the family contact information. Anyone?
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Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 166
Location: Mars satellite

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the ikitesurf forum, there's a topic entitled, "Family of Yam Poh Chua" written by Faycal, who knows the family. Perhaps we could post an offer of help on the forum itself, or send a PM (Personal Message) to Faycal to ask how we could send a donation to the family. I also read on the forum somewhere of a Calvary pastor who kites, who has offered to lead a service.

No worries, Theq, about being an agnostic. I'm certain we all appreciate the spirituality of windsurfing and kiting, and gratitude and wonder at being on the water. It's difficult not to sound trite when describing the feeling of oneness we feel when we're out on Big Blue, cavorting with dolphins, seals and sea birds. Doesn't have to be religion or God in a form, but that feeling of oneness. And DaBull, I think you're right, it does bring us closer to realizing we are all really alike as "water people", no matter what the craft we're riding.
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Joined: 12 Jun 2001
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: I am so sorry for your loss Theresa... Reply with quote

Theresa and family,

I know everyone that I have spoken with is sincerely saddened by your loss. Although I did not know your brother-in-law, he sounds like a great person.

I will think of him on the water today.

Our Sincerest Condolences,

Brett and Jeanine Buchanan
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