Being 8,000ft high with the ability to see for miles, skydiving can be an exhilarating and amazing experience for many. But when your parachute either fails to deploy or malfunctions it can quickly turn from exhilarating to terrifying. What would you do in this situation?
This was exactly the case for thrill-seeker Craig Stapleton, 51, who jumped from a height of 8,000ft. He was attempting a complicated flag-release stunt called the 'down plane flag' with jump partner, Katie Nelson, when his parachute failed to function correctly and got tangled. The event happed on March 10th at 1pm.
Stapleton states that his body flung forward upon opening the parachute. His foot then jerked upwards and got caught in the ropes, dragging his equipment through his riser group. His second parachute did not manage to help the situation and got tangled.
"œI was frantically pulling on it, yanking it, trying to un-thread the knot," he states. "œAnd at one point, I had my fear in my teeth. I needed a third hand. I thought I was going to die."
After 3 long minutes of falling at 30mph, he eventually came to a 'soft landing' in vine yards near Lodi, California. He also avoided landing on the sharp metal poles that provide support for the crops, which could have impaled him and caused serious damage.
His terrifying plummet was also caught on camera by witnesses.
"œIf I live through this," he thought "œI'll have months of rehab, hospitals ... and nothing fun again!" However, luck was on his side as Stapleton walked away from his hospital visit with nothing more dislocated shoulder and bruising.
In 2001, Craig Paton, 26, also had a similar accident when he fell to the ground in just 60 seconds after his parachute failed to open. He was diagnosed in hospital with chest injuries.
Unfortunately, it was more than injuries for experienced skydiver David Ball, 56. Both his parachutes failed to open while travelling near the town of Auchterarder in Perthshire, Scotland. Ball died instantly upon impact of hitting the ground.
When taking part in any sports activities, we must stress the importance of purchasing travel insurance to cover you. Alpha Travel Insurance offers a wide choice of policies to suit your needs and offers cover for over 100 sports activities included free of charge.
Alpha Travel Insurance and alphatravelinsurance.co.uk are trading names of Infinity Insurance Solutions Ltd which is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority: FRN 528912 © Infinity Insurance Solutions. 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. ME19 4UY. All rights reserved