75-year-old dies following kiteboarding incident on SC beach


FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County Coroner’s Office has identified a 75-year-old who died following a kiteboarding incident over the weekend.

In an incident report released Monday, an officer with Folly Beach Public Safety stated they were traveling on the beach via ATV when they approached the county park where many kite surfers were seen in the water despite extremely high winds.

At one point the officer noticed a red kite that appeared to be bouncing off the water as if the surfer was having difficulty getting it airborne.

The officer began following the kite at about 9th Street West and called dispatch to report a potential kite surfer in distress.

A second officer quickly responded to the scene and both continued to follow the kite as it moved eastbound in the wind. At one point, the officer took off her vest and duty belt and prepared to enter the ocean. A water rescue ensued and the officer was joined by Rescue 1101 and a firefighter on a jet ski.

The report states a citizen was able to grab the red kite while another citizen grabbed the victim as the officer and a firefighter arrived – they all assisted in bringing the distressed surfer to shore.

Once ashore, the victim appeared to the have bluish skin and no pulse, the report said. CPR was administered immediately and the victim was rushed to MUSC.

Bobbi Jo O’Neal with the Charleston County Coroner’s Office on Monday announced that victim, 75-year-old Rodney Travis of Folly Beach had passed away after being transported to the hospital.

The cause of death is pending autopsy results. An investigation is on-going.

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