A New Zealand skydiver has spoken about how fortunate he is to be alive, and the thoughts that raced through his head as he plummeted earthwards from 13,000 feet. The weather was good and everything seemed normal when Liam Dunne jumped from the plane over Moteuko, but events soon took a dramatic turn.
Mr. Dunne’s main parachute failed to open and a after a desperate struggle, he managed to release his reserve chute just 15 seconds before impact, reports the Telegraph.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Dunne told the Daily Mail: ‘Those last 1,000 feet it was like “here we go, this is it”.
‘It wasn’t nice, but that said, it was a one in a million accident and a one in a million save.
‘Skydiving is an awesome sport, and I’ve done 4,000 jumps and never had a problem.’
He hit the ground at 35 mph, but waterlogged conditions cushioned his fall and saved his life. The Liverpool born businessman recalled the thoughts that rushed through his mind in those frantic moments.
“What an idiot” was his first instinct before thinking of his wife and children. He recalled later that he was “gutted” to be losing them and thought, “What a stupid way to orphan your kids”.
“I thought I was a goner. I was definitely very lucky. The ground was like a big sponge.
“I could wriggle my toes so I knew I hadn’t broken my spinal cord,”
Mr. Dunne’s injuries required a 10 week stay at Christchurch Hospital where a steel pin was inserted into his back. However, the experience has not put him off jumping again. The 36 year old, who owns a skydiving company, had made over 4,000 successful jumps.
“Definitely, it’s do-able. The spine will be strong enough but I may have to figure another way to land.”
The New Zealand Parachute Industry Association has launched an investigation into the incident.
According to dropzone.com, there were about 49 Skydiving related deaths last year worldwide.
what an idiot parachute failed: ‘What an idiot’ thoughts of a skydiver who survived 13,000ft fall
what an idiot parachute failed