[OSMB-News] News Release -Safety Advisory Issued on Kite Tubing
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Mon Jul 10 15:16:58 PDT 2006
For Immediate Release Date: Monday, July 10, 2006
Safety Advisory Issued on Kite Tubing
The Oregon State Marine Board, in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, is advising water enthusiasts to use extreme care when using a new towable device called a "kite tube."
"There have been a number of accidents this summer in a hand-full of states," says Marty Law, Education and Information Manager for the Marine Board. "Riders can get injured after falling or being thrown off the kite tube and can plunge 15 feet or more at extremely high speed."
Kite tubes are large, wide, and sometimes saucer-shaped inflatable tubes that are towed behind boats at speeds between 25 to 35 MPH. The speed of the boat causes the tube to lift into the air with the rider(s) sometimes falling 30 feet or more. This device behaves just like a regular kite by spontaneously plunging without warning.
At least three kite tube fatalities have occurred this summer in the US, as well as several dozen personal injury accidents.
Injuries noted include heart and lung trauma, broken neck, back injuries, jaw and other facial fractures, concussions, cracked ribs, perforated eardrums and broken limbs.
The Army Corp of Engineers banned kite tubing on its lakes in Oklahoma and in neighboring states as well.
In a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warning on kite tubes released on June 30, they noted that possible reasons for incidents and injuries include a rider's difficulty controlling the tube, boat operator inexperience, and how the tube reacts in certain weather conditions. Conditions of highest concern to the CPSC are wind gusts that can cause the tube to spin out of control, or suddenly stopping or slowing by the boat operator. According to the CPSC, slowing can cause the tube to nose dive and hit the water or allow the tube rider to continue past the top of the boat and hit the towing boat, another watercraft or other objects such as a bridge.
"We want boaters in Oregon to know how potentially dangerous this apparatus is, and to seriously consider the amount of risk involved." Law adds.
For more information, visit www.cpsc.gov/talk.html.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
More information about the OSMB-News