Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

WASHINGTON,

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D.C. – In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Sportsstuff, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska is voluntarily recalling about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes.

CPSC staff is aware of 39 injury incidents with 29 of those resulting in medical treatment. Those injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. Sportsstuff has received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries. Sportsstuff has been unable to determine the cause of the incidents. Nevertheless, the company has withdrawn the kite tube from the market and is undertaking this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution.

The Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tube is a 10-foot-wide, circular, yellow inflatable watercraft designed to be towed behind a power boat. A rider in the tube becomes airborne by pulling on handles attached to the floor of the tube. Model 53-5000 is printed on the tube near the product valve. The floor of the tube has black caution warning stripes. The cover for the product bears a skull and crossbones and the statement “Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall.” The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs, and various retailers from approximately October 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006 for about $500 to $600.

Consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff at (866) 831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to learn how to obtain free replacement products. Consumers can also visit the firm’s Web site at www.sportsstuff.com for more information.

4 thoughts on “Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

  1. Sonja Witt

    I feel compelled to warn everyone of the real dangers associated with kite-tubes. On July 1, I was pulling my 14 year old son on the Wego kite tube. A sudden gust of wind caused the tube to catch air, then rotate right, catapulting my son to the water from approximately 30 feet in the air. We pulled him from the water, struggling for his breath, with bruises already visible on his back. After an ambulance ride and a careflight ride, the doctor confirmed that he had fractured three vertebrae. We are blessed that there was involvement with his spinal cord, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

    Thank God they have been recalled. However, we still need to get the word out to current owners.

    Reply
  2. Brent

    If wego is going to recall this item, they need to offer us our money back not just other products. I have called the company and they refused to give me my money back. I hope consumer safety can persuade them on this. If any one reads this, start calling for your money back, I went to Arizona and this product is banned from some of their lakes already.

    Reply
  3. aquatrax

    I am glad that your son is expected to make a full recovery. This product definitely should be considered part of an extreme sport. However, I don’t think this product should have been pulled from the market. 30 feet? No offense, but come on, you should have known better. How much clearer can the company be than “Don’t fly higher than you’re willing to fall”? I don’t fly my tube that high, and I don’t let my son or anyone else under the age of 18 on the tube at all.

    Reply
  4. Fred Pritzker

    We represent people injured by the Wego kite tube. We are attempting to develop a comprehensive list of all people injured or killed by this device. This will help us establish fault against the manufacturer and overcome arguments that injuries occurred because of the fault of the boat operator or the device user. Any information will be held in strictest confidence. Please contact me by email (fhp@pritzkerlaw.com) or call our toll-free # at 1-888-377-8900. Thank you.

    Reply

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