Tragic accident: Kiter disappears in Colombia while kitesurfing in Alta Guajira

In an unfortunate event that has shocked the kitesurfing community this Saturday, May 13, 2023, I am obliged to report on the tragic accident that took place in Colombia. SUETALABARRA has received multiple messages from followers who alerted us to the disappearance of a kiter, and after verifying various sources, including the official page of the Colombian Navy, we have decided to share this sad news.
From this space, we want to call on all kiters who navigate in open water, to acquire the necessary knowledge and always carry the appropriate security means during their practices. Aware of the importance of this topic, our next article on the blog will be dedicated to navigation safety.
Units of the Colombian Navy, in collaboration with the Colombian Air Force and the maritime union, have been carrying out search and rescue work since last Saturday. The missing person is Fernando Antonio Giraldo, a 40-year-old kitesurfing athlete from Antioquia. He was practicing 8 kilometers south of Cabo de La Vela, in Alta Guajira, when he disappeared on Saturday afternoon.
According to the account of Luis Fernando Giraldo Duque, Fernando's cousin, he was with two other companions after having arrived at Cabo de La Vela last Thursday. "It was around 4:30 when he disappeared. Fernando was swept away by a strong air current, which prevented his companions from reaching him. That was the last time they saw him," he said.
The Navy received the report from the Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar early on Sunday morning. The Santa Marta Coast Guard Primary Station immediately began search and rescue operations. The drifting kite was found 30 kilometers from the shore of the beach, which led to an intensification of the search in that area. In addition, constant warning calls have been made to the vessels and the maritime union that transits through the area, in order to support the search efforts and notify the corresponding authorities in a timely manner.
Monday May 15, 2023: So far, maritime operations in the area continue without obtaining positive results that indicate the whereabouts of the missing athlete. The Colombian Navy, through the components of the Caribbean Naval Force, continues to develop maritime control and surveillance operations to safeguard human life at sea. Likewise, it invites the maritime community to comply with safety regulations and report any emergency to line 146 or channel 16 VHF Marino.
This tragic event has generated a joint mobilization of the Colombian Navy, the Colombian Air Force and the maritime union in search of continuing with the search and rescue operations to locate the missing kitesurfer athlete. The situation is delicate and evidence is expected to help determine its location.
The disappearance of Fernando Antonio Giraldo has generated great concern in the kitesurfing community, as well as family and friends. Solidarity and support have been present at this difficult time.
The Colombian Navy and the Colombian Air Force, in close coordination with the maritime union, are striving to find the athlete, conducting exhaustive search operations in the area where he was last seen. Constant communications are maintained and warnings are issued to vessels and people passing through the area to guarantee their collaboration and alert them to any relevant indication.
Navigation safety is essential when practicing water sports such as kitesurfing. It is vital to have the necessary knowledge, use the corresponding safety equipment and be alert to weather and sea conditions. Individual responsibility is crucial to prevent incidents and guarantee the integrity of athletes.
Sunday May 13, 2023.
They find the board of the missing Kitesurfing athlete in El Cabo de la Vela.
About eight kilometers from the southern coast of El Cabo de la Vela, units of the National Navy and the Colombian Air Force found the kite used by Fernando Antonio Giraldo, the athlete who is missing in the waters of the Colombian Caribbean, off the coast from La Guajira.
The discovery allowed the relief agencies to redirect the search in the Caribbean, where all the vessels that cross this marine zone were alerted, so that they report on the presence of floating objects. The table on which he was found was seen some 30 kilometers from the beach, so the work was assigned to that point, where it was also necessary to use an aircraft.
Tuesday May 16, 2023: on Monday there were four boats dedicated to their search, in addition this Tuesday they reinforced their search with six boats, two Navy planes and a ship.
At SUELTALABARRA, we join the call of the Colombian Navy and emphasize the importance of prioritizing safety in all our aquatic activities. We remind kiters and the maritime community in general to follow the established rules, be prepared and immediately notify any emergency or suspicious situation.
We will keep our followers informed about the progress of the search and rescue operations. Our commitment is to spread the importance of safety and promote a culture of prevention in the field of kitesurfing and other water sports.
From SUELTALABARRA, wishing that they find our partner and friend, we send our condolences to the family and friends of Fernando Antonio Giraldo, and we hope that his prompt location and safe return can be achieved. Together, as a community, we must stick together and support each other through difficult times like this.
Last update: The Coast Guard of the Navy stated that: "the idea is to be able to do a complete sweep in which no section remains without being reviewed in order to find the missing person, we also understand that two million pesos have been offered to any citizen that I manage to rescue it ”.
De is going to celebrate a week of his disappearance doing one of the sports that he fell in love with, an athlete who had divided his adrenaline between MTB, enduro and kitesurfing.

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