HARRISON — A 49-year-old Harrison man died Monday when the kite he was using to propel him on skis on Crystal Lake was hit by a gust of wind, lifted him into the air and flung him into a storage shed.

Adam Tsapis had driven to the north end of the lake and skied back toward his house at Shorelands Point Road, off Norway Road. He arrived at about 11 a.m. and his wife saw him out the window, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. But as he made to go to shore, a strong wind filled the kite – which resembles a parachute or a kite for parasailing – and pulled him into the air, over a stone wall and into the shed, knocking it over.

Tsapis was conscious and able to call his wife on his cellphone and tell her to call 911, the sheriff’s office said.

Tsapis suffered serious injuries to an arm and a leg and most likely internal injuries as well. He was taken to Bridgton Hospital, then by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he died while undergoing surgery, the sheriff’s office said.

Kite-skiing was developed in the 1980s and now features world competitions, according to the website mybestkite.com. A Quebec man last year became the first person to reach the geographic South Pole alone by kite- ski, according to press reports.

Tsapis had experience kite-skiing, had his own kite and had done it for a few years. He told authorities that he had gone as fast as 35 mph but it appears he was stopping as he reached his house, the sheriff’s office said.

Tsapis is listed as co-founder of Summit Achievement, a residential treatment center and wilderness school for teenagers based in Stow, according to the program’s website. He worked for 25 years with adolescents and their families in wilderness settings and at sea as a tall ship captain, it said.

He had a wife and four children, according to the website.


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