Skydiving is once-in-a-lifetime-experience, especially when you are sailing through the air into the clouds; it looks like a completely different world. The thrill of exiting an aircraft or balloon and diving into air pushes up the adrenalin level of every adventure enthusiast. However, apart from the enjoyable side associated with the sport, there are many instances when the skydivers survived a scare on their life due to the malfunctioning of the parachute and other reservoir at the final minute. Here are top 10 individuals who miraculously escaped skydiving accidents:
Skydiving adventure went awry for Paul Lewis who just miraculously survived after the main parachute failed to open on time. It led him to crash on the roof top of a house on ground. The fatal accident resulted in causing neck and head injuries. It was reported later in one of the news dailies that Paul plummeted through 305 m in air before falling on roof top. He was later airlifted to another hospital after his condition deteriorated further.
Nothing could be imagined worse than a birthday party going wrong. Shirley Dygery planned to undertake her first skydive on the day under proper guidance of her hero Dave Harstock when the tragedy struck. The parachute failed to open up and the backup chutes too deceived them at the right time only to cause severe injuries to Shirley and Harstock (who was paralyzed for life).
Michael Holmes almost survived a scare to his life when his parachute and reservoir failed to deliver at the final moment in New Zealand. A 24 year old canopy parachutist, Holmes mustn’t have ever expected before jumping out of plane at 14,000 feet that the adventure would result in broken ankle and collapsed lung.
Rarely does a person survive an uncontrolled free fall from 8000 feet with minor injuries after the parachute fails to perform on time. Such was the case of a California based seasoned skydiver Craig Stapleton, who survived after falling on a patch of soft soil in a vineyard. The 51 year old veteran of over 7,000 jumps almost survived death when his parachute and reservoir failed to act on time giving him a jolt for a lifetime.
The 57 year old Jamie Robertson survived a deadly fall at a height of 4,500 feet above the earth with mere bruises. The skydiver was pushed towards the tail of the plane as soon as he leaped out of the plane. Similar to other skydiving misadventures, even his parachute failed to open rendering him unconscious due to the shock. However, just at the right time before he was nearing earth, his reservoir parachute opened out of impact miraculously and saved his life.
A teenager who had completed 40 successful jumps till he met this misadventure, Henco van Wyk was a seasoned skydiver with A-license qualifying him for free-fall without static line. The 17 year old skydiver received serious injuries on his back and legs when his parachute malfunctioned after plunging from 10,000 feet above earth.
The 35 year old Liam Dunne met with an accident and broke his back in the year 2005. While in the skyfall his parachute failed to open for most part of the journey only to respond in the last minutes when he had almost approached the hard ground. He landed on the water logged ground luckily; otherwise the injuries could have been far more severe and long lasting.
It is regarded as one of the most courageous stories in the history of skydiving when hot air balloon pilot, Edward Ristaino saved life of the skydivers travelling on board from a powerful thunderstorm, which approached them all of a sudden. Edward asked the people on board to dive out when they neared around 4,000 feet from ground to save their lives, but sadly, he got caught up in the storm and lost his life.
A 31-year-old teacher, Debby Williams had already completed 50 jumps before meeting with a dangerous accident that left her in an unconscious state with broken ribs and several other external injuries. While landing on the ground in a free fall she collided with a fellow skydiver in the group only to face detrimental consequences later on. According to eye witnesses, the accident was so fatal that she landed the ground on her back.