With low winds on the plane ride to altitude, this skydiver got himself into a bad situation when the winds picked up by the time he was under canopy. He was “about to pick an out for an off DZ landing, but then realized the only option was straight down” and landed in the river.
When you find yourself downwind of the DZ and coming up short, you’re best bet is to find an out much earlier at a higher altitude, and commit to an off DZ landing instead of trying (read: hoping) to make it back to the DZ. If that means landing on the other side of the river and a long walk back, I’d say that’s much better than landing in the river. Luckily this was a shallow river with a slow current, but what if it was a deep and fast current river? Food for thought.