To say this incident was intense is an understatement. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the event, recounted by the BASE jumpers involved in the incident:
“The plan was for jumper 1 to jump from an upper exit and flyby a lower exit where a jumper 2 would take off. Freefall would separate the two jumpers, then jumper 1 would do a 360 turn down and around jumper 2. Unfortunately, jumper 1 misjudged his turn and hit jumper 2, causing a dangerous parachute wrap nearly 200 feet over a boulder field.
The collision caused them to rotate around each other nearly three times, and the speed of the accident caused jumper 1’s parachute lines to cut through jumper 2’s lines, leaving him with only half an effective chute. Miraculously, at approx. 125 feet above the ground, they unwrapped midair; jumper 1 still had a fully inflated parachute and was able to kick out the line twists before landing. Jumper 2 had half a parachute spinning up on itself while he uncontrollably spiralled towards the ground before crashing into a massive boulder. His parachute hung up on the top of the boulder, stopping him from hitting the ground.
The precise point that jumper 2 impacted the boulder saved him from severe injury. The angle of his body matched the angle of the boulder, dispersing the initial impact across his body, preventing trauma. Any smaller boulder would have broken him in half. Furthermore, if he was a mere foot lower he would have impacted a shear face, one foot higher and he would have missed the big flat spot and slammed into jagged rocks on the other side.
A parachute wrap at 200 feet could easily end in one or more fatalities or at least serious injuries. The fact that the jumpers untangled and walked away with bruises, cuts and a broken helmet is nothing short of a miracle.”