Sky Divers enjoy heavenly view of San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 7            February 17, 2005

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Thrill seeking reached a new level in San Pedro this week as 90 sky divers from around the world chose “La Isla Bonita” for their “Boogie in Belize,” sky diving rally.

    It wasn’t only the visitors who dared to take the leap from 13,000 feet, dozens of local residents and other visiting tourists took advantage of taking the leap in tandem with an experienced sky diver. “Up there you forget all your problems and just feel the rush of the ride. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try it out. It is something that I would definitely love to do again,” said Avington Ramirez. Marvelita Murillos told The San Pedro Sun, “It was one of the most beautiful things I have experienced in my life. Once people see the videos they decide to try it, and I say why not try it? It is a great experience!” Both Murillos and Ramirez took advantage of an offer by their employer at the Blue Water Grill. Kelly McDermott, one of the Blue Water Gill managers, said they offered to pay for any of their employees who wanted to try sky diving to show their appreciation. “We were thrilled that 21 out of our 25 employees did the jump,” said McDermitt. “Even moms decided to do it, it was great,” she added excitedly.

    “We like to jump in exotic places,” said Richard Grimm, the organizer of the rally. “It is so fantastic to be over the island here at 13,000 feet. It is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life, with the aqua blue water and the island, it’s just fantastic,” he exclaimed.

    From jumping altitude, the island seems very small, said Grimm. “When you are in the airplane it feels like we are sky diving just over the ocean. And then we have a little narrow spot on the island, which is actually quite large, but when you are flying your canopy and you are over the water it just feels fantastic and so beautiful. With the reef running the coast, just makes it an added special thing.”

    The divers chose an area just north of the San Pedro River as their landing area. Hundreds of eager observers ventured to the landing spot to watch the sky divers descend back to earth. Many of the sky divers took the time to visit with the spectators to share their experiences. “There is nothing like it, it is a beautiful thing to fly like a bird,” one sky diver told the spectators.

    As with any adventure sport, there are risks to sky diving. Only minor mishaps occurred during the divers’ visit. One jumper misjudged his landing and ended up with a bloody nose and possible concussion. He was treated and released.

    The rally ends Friday, February 18th. If you have the nerve to try the sport, call Richard Grimm at the Sun Breeze Hotel in San Pedro at 226-2191.
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