Skydivers to descend on Ambergris Caye

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 5            February 3, 2005

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The skies will soon be filled with skydivers from around the world. The first-ever Boogie in Belize skydiving festival will be held on Ambergris Caye from February 10th - 19th. Nearly 90 skydivers from around the world will take to the beautiful skies around "La Isla Bonita" and jump from 13,000 feet over our beautiful turquoise waters!

     This event is the culmination of three years of planning by coordinator Richard Grimm. The jumpers will arrive from all over the world including England, Canada and the United States of America. "We like to jump in exotic places," Grimm told The San Pedro Sun in a telephone interview. Last year, his group took turns jumping from Angel Falls in Venezuela. "Many of us come from cold places. We like to go somewhere warm and exotic."

     The designated landing site will be just north of the San Pedro River on the vacant land near the Hammock House. A special Cessna Caravan will be flown in from Las Vegas that will deliver 16 jumpers at a time to the 13,000 feet altitude. Jumping will begin on February 11th with a special air show offered on Sunday, February 13th from two to four in the afternoon.

     "This is going to be a very positive thing," stressed Grimm. He said the group, along with families and support, will likely spend nearly $200,000 US in Belize while visiting. "We hope this is the first of many trips to Belize," said Grimm.

     In addition to skydiving, Grimm said his people will "take in" diving, snorkeling and, definitely, the nightlife. Among the participants are internationally acclaimed skydivers.

     In addition to landing on Ambergris Caye, some of the more experienced divers will attempt a sky dive into the Blue Hole. "We plan to get a photo from above so that the blue hole is centered below our formation," Grimm said excitedly. Grimm adds that skydiving has become very easy in recent years thanks to advancements in equipment. "Now we can jump in swimsuits and sandals."

     Opportunities will also be available for anyone to purchase a skydive using special tandem equipment. Grimm stressed that skydivers will not jump if the weather does not allow it, if it is too cloudy or windy. However, Grimm ended by stating that he hopes San Pedro will consider building a permanent dive zone.
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