Father of 4 Who Beat Cancer Dies Kitesurfing After Gust of Wind Slams Him into Side of Building
A Florida man who was enjoying a day at the beach kitesurfing has tragically died after authorities say a gust of wind sent him flying into the side of a home.
Fred Salter, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, was identified as the victim in Wednesday's fatal accident, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan told CNN that the incident occurred in the city around 10 a.m.
Fire rescue crews were called to the scene after receiving reports that a man who was kitesurfing "had flown into the side of a residence," Gollan explained to the outlet.
Kitesurfing, also called kiteboarding, is a wind-powered sport where a person holds a kite and uses the wind to be pulled on water, according to Surfer Today. The activity combines elements of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, snowboarding, paragliding, and skateboarding, and is sometimes performed on land, per the outlet.
After first responders arrived, they found Salter's orange kite tangled in the home's balcony and his board on the sand at the nearby beach — both of which were captured in photos and provided to PEOPLE by the fire chief.
Gollan told CNN that a bystander at the scene told officials that the man was on the beach when he went flying in the air and struck the north side of the home.
Gollan noted to CNN that crews had "experienced heavy winds and a strong thunderstorm," which moved quickly into the area during that time.
Salter was transported to a hospital in critical condition but later died from his injuries around 1 p.m., Gollan confirmed to CNN.
Speaking to PEOPLE, he adds, "This type of accident is definitely not common and the last time we experienced a kiteboarding accident was about 10 years ago."
In the wake of Salter's death, several of his loved ones have expressed their shock and sadness on social media.
A GoFundMe page that was started on Thursday to assist Salter's family with funeral expenses stated that he was a father to four children and a grandfather to two grandchildren.
"Fred Salter, tragically passed away yesterday doing what he loved most," the page reads. "After beating cancer, Fred never took life for granted and lived each moment to its fullest."
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"If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Fred, you would know how kind and loving he was. He valued his family and enormous group of friends more than anything," the page continues. "Fred was the center of his children's universe and now they are left with the unknown."
On Facebook, one user wrote, "The community is still shocked, in disbelief, and saddened... [Salter] is a one of a kind & a good man to all!"
"One of my best buds gone. I'm [at loss] for words... We did everything together," added another user, before writing in a separate post: "Please help out Freddy's family. He would do it for you, that's the person he was."
As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe page has raised $995. Those interested in donating can do so here.