'The impact was catastrophic': Vancouver Island skydiver dies attempting complex landing manoeuvre
VICTORIA -- An experienced skydiver, with over 1,000 previous jumps, died Sunday evening after his landing went tragically wrong.
According to the RCMP, a 34-year-old man from the Victoria area died after a miscalculation on his landing.
The man’s name has not been released.
The owner of the skydiving company involved says the parachutist was attempting an extremely complex landing manoeuvre called “swooping”.
“The impact was catastrophic and the parachutist, a 34-year-old male from Victoria, succumbed to his injuries immediately,” said Skydive Vancouver Island owner, Gord Gauvin in a statement.
Swooping is when a jumper turns their parachute and themselves towards the ground to gather speed at a low altitude. At the last moment the pilot then uses controls on the parachute to stop the freefall and glide close to the ground.
“The parachutist had a high amount of experience with this maneuver and was a coach and instructor within the sport of Skydiving,” said Gauvin.
Investigators say the jump took place Sunday evening in the Nanoose Bay area.
The skydiver was meant to land in a field in the Arbutus Meadows area just outside of Parksville, but police say something went wrong and he crashed into the ground at a high rate of speed.
The skydiving company says his parachute appeared to open perfectly when he jumped from the plane.
“We are devastated,” Gauvin told CTV News Vancouver Island.
“This is a friend of ours. We have had many joyous weekends together.”
The BC Coroners Service, Canadian Sport Parachuting Association and multiple other agencies are all now investigating the incident.