Government authorities weigh in

A skydiving experience for a vacationer on Saturday, February 10th almost ended in tragedy when a skydiving instructor accidentally made contact with a high voltage power line north of San Pedro Town. The instructor was performing a tandem jump and upon making his approach to the landing site, his foot briefly touched the power line before landing on the roadside. No major injuries were sustained and the incident went unreported to the local authorities. However, the Labour Department and the Immigration Department, jointly in charge of issuing permits for such services, weighed in on the incident, indicating that they will look into the issue and review the company’s safety measures.

A check with persons close to the company providing the skydiving service stated that there had been no contact with the power lines and that it was simply a bad landing. However, eyewitnesses say that they indeed saw that there was contact with the high tension wires. According to the witness, who happens to be an experienced skydiver, most of the times these skydivers fly over the power lines to reach their landing site. He said that he had watched several safe landings and it seemed that the instructors were well trained and knew what they are doing. However, on Saturday, the eyewitness stated that the accident was the result of human error. Apparently, upon approaching the landing spot, the skydiver must do a left turn in order to arch over the power lines, but the instructor made it too late. “You need to realize that you are dropping about nine feet per second,” said the witness. “He knew he was too low when he made the turn, I heard him yelling as he approached the lines.” The witnesses described that upon touching the high tension wires they saw sparks and then the person fell on top of the lower wires (cable and telephone wires) before hitting the pavement of the road. The tandem passenger was a lady who apparently passed out before landing. “We cannot tell if she was passed out because of the shock of the accident or from the fall onto the road,” they said. “But they were lucky that they did not get entangled in those lines or else they would have been fried.”

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun