This is a life experience that makes you appreciate your friends all that much more!
And We Call Him Superman….
It was a cool windy summer day, the skys clear and the waves roaring. A group of kitersurfers and others alike enjoying the windy thunder mother nature makes. Terry, Cathy, Jon, Nathan and Nik. Several others on the beach made for many spectators. The kiters Jon, Nathan, Nik and Terry all gearing up for a super day of kiteboarding fun. Cathy an avid jetskier takes to dock her craft at the end of park point.
The waves run big on Lake Superior reaching about 8 feet plus that day; about 15-20 mph. Everyone’s having a good time. Along comes Cat, flying off the big waves of Lake Superior with great ease. Photos and video running; kitesurfers riding and jumping high with rage. As the day went by, many saw and heard what happened; Cat has sunk her ski in the all mighty Lake Superior Sea.
“I came off a wave to hit a second, the second larger than the first curled under just as I came up, I felt like I was 15 feet out of the water or more. The wave flipped my PWC straight up and landed flat upside down. Luckily, I seen it coming and pushed myself off and away before it landed on me. When it landed it created a loud smack sound, I thought I busted it in half. It landed so hard that it shattered the glove box, busted open the hull and all that was in it sank to the bottom of the lake. There was nothing I could do but wait for help ”
Waves are rushing in, most of the kitesurfers are out of the water taking a break. They rush to the trailer to grab the other ski not in the water and carry it to the shoreline. Terry the owner is out on the water kitesurfing when he sees the commotion. When they get the ski to the water they realize the ski has no gas!
No GAS now what?
Terry gets to shore and drops his kite, Nathan then runs to Terry and they both swim out to me. (No Life Jackets On) Terry having a dry suit on thought all was fine, when in reality, the dry suit started to take his breath away every minute he was in the water. With the pressure of the water taking all of the air out of the suit he was now on the verge of suffocation and hypothermia. With no energy left in him from kitesurfing he was starting to break down. Now we have 3 people attached to a sunken jetski hanging off the nose which doesn’t sink. Now what?
Well….I’ll tell you…
Jon Stroh took what he had; he grabbed his Kite and jumped in to help. Kitesurfing out to the ski back and forth, controlling that kite like it was a car. Never has anyone seen such control. It was the most suspenseful moment anyone on Lake Superior has ever seen. The 3 in the water await his contact. Terry getting weaker by the moment, Cat having a lifejacket on attempt to swim to shore with no regard to the weight limit of the lifejacket. It was too much. Jon and Nathan continue to try to drag the ski to shore with the kites power. Terry and Cathy are starting to drown. Cathy SCREAMs out “JON” he see’s that they are going under and there is little time to help. He turns his kite, swoops around and in the last second of Terry saying to Cathy I Love you, and good bye, Jon comes by and grabs Terry and pulls him to shore. Cathy comes back up with ease with her lifejacket doing it’s job.
No, it’s not over yet.
Jon kites back to Nathan and the jetski, continuing to try to bring it to shore. Cat notices the effort and swims back out. They attempt the final prevail, where on the left Cat grabs the ski with one hand and Jon’s kite harness with the other and Nathan on the right does the same. In one quick moment, the power of the kite and the strong bond on both sides we and the ski are all pulled to shore in a matter of seconds.
Exhausted in the entire ordeal, now how do we get this water logged wave runner to the boat trailer? Ask 6 of the biggest college students to carry it! Yep they carried that 800+ pound water logged ski to the trailer and set it down with ease.
Now you know why Jon Stroh is called Cathy and Terry’s SUPERMAN. The best kiteboarder in the world to us!
Share stores of your big days, soul rejuvenation experiences; moments that defy time.
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