Dangers of using kite tubes

Published: Sunday, June 11 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

Kite tubes are large, round inflated tubes towed by a boat at 20 to 40 mph. The user holds onto the Kite Tube as it rises into the air, 15 to 60 feet from the surface of the water.

What happens in an accident:
In the four accidents, kite tubers reported they were traveling at 30 to 35 mph and most were 15 to 20 feet in the air when they were either ejected or turned upside down and then accelerated into the water. Another 10 to 25 mph of speed is added to their forward speed, so the victims hit the water at 45 to 55 mph. These accidents are the equivalent of a 70-foot cliff jump, with the added component of the victims' lack of control over how they enter the water.

Mayer said the injuries are consistent with deceleration impact events, which cause internal trauma. Victims report coughing up blood, torn muscles, whiplash type injuries, broken ribs, punctured lungs and cervical fractures.

Source: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Management

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