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base428

Remove the BASE Fatality List

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Hey Jason, good thing to try to make things evolve ;)

Quote

How many of you honestly read it BEFORE you started jumping?



I did, it was one of the first document I read last year when I started to think about BASE jumping.
It helped me to understand a lot of things and realize others.

I don't know anything about press but at least if they refer to the list they can't make up numbers.

Being able to provide a rough number of BASE jump made since the beginning of the list would help to relativize the number of death.

Thanks for your work Nick and good luck Jason.
JFK #1013
PM Me
No Adrenalin.... No Fun!
"Minds are like parachutes the

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Personally, Jason, I think you're WAY over-exagerating the importance of the list... Anyone looking at it will see that 85 deaths over 25 years will compare favorably with all other sorts of sports such as rock climbing and scuba diving - expecially to a NPS ranger who is going to know how many people get lost and die of exposure while hiking in the USA per year, or how many climbers die per year in National Parks.

Secondly, I think it would be a great idea to have a form for adding info that includes canopies, rigs (even velcro/pin), wing-loading if necessary, also BASE experience AND skydiving experience, however to lose the personal info in the entries would de-humanize a lot of people on that list, several of whom were my friends. I would be totally against that....

If you are worried about showing up on the list someday send Nick a letter - when you go in you can appear as 'unknown' or 'name withheld' as some people already are.

The list should stay!

PS some at the bottom of the list are VERY positive about people who died in car accidents/skydiving accidents but who had very positive lives!
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Good to chat with you.....my crazy, dental hygenically challenged friend!!!
__________________________________________________

And Jason

if you leak to the NPS that BASE-jumpers never brush their teeth - we'll never get invited anywhere!!!

The 'man' can take any comment and twist it around how he wish....
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Could you post the incident form here? Lets get some discussion going on what would be needed in addition to the standerd info due to the unique factors of BASE.

I've recently started assisting in some Skydiving Fatality reporting and I've got some ideas based off the experiences I've already had that might make this a much better tool while still allowing for the very personal touch that the BASE List has always had.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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>>Maybe cleaning up the fatality list so that it's not so dark would be a good start. Remove the red 85 at the top.

Hi Jason,

Yes, it does looks dark. The Fatality List has its roots when the prevailing wisdom in BASE is, "make death your friend, or else it becomes your enemy." Skydivers and non-jumpers scolded us for having a death wish, and that we'd all get "our due" in time. So being a rebellious lot we flew the Jolly Roger right in their faces. We decorated our rigs with skulls and bones, and everything we owned is black in color. We giggled when we were scared, and chuckled at the near misses of our friends. We did everything we could to get our minds away from the fact we really didn't know what we are doing. This is the time when Moe Viletto observed, "death is an educational tool." So that's why the List looks as it does. Since you are questioning it, I can only assume it's the beginning of a generational sea change coming to BASE jumping and okay, that's fair enough.

>>Turn it into more of an informative, educational tool. Heck, include commentary on "how this accident could have been prevented".<<

You weren't around during the accident wars back in the day. Early BASE magazines, like BASELINE, The BASE Gazette, printed accident reports. They copied the format from PARACHUTIST and included a section called "conclusions." It turned they couldn't correctly discern what happened or what could have been done better from afar. Next month's magazine would always contain an angry letter from the offended jumper and usually began, "Hello, You Fu#king Boneheads."

There are many lost friendships and a few fistfights because of that. On the List, except when the cause of death is blatantly obvious, I want the reader to draw their own conclusions. In my magazine, the Fixed Object Journal, I only printed accident reports from the jumpers involved. I've tried where possible to do the same thing on the List. The gist of the fatality reports, while edited by me, are basically what people send in.

It would be a tremendous amount of work, but I could put a happy face on the List, or at least make it look more clinical. But, then it’s a matter of forsaking a part of BASE jumping history, like hiding our crazy aunt down in the basement, and for what? Certainly not to appease the powers that be . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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"Most" of us ;) have a great amount of respect and appreciation for both Jason and Nick as friends and leaders who have contributed great things to our sport. This is a very delicate subject that touches on personal, ethical, and educational ideals that seem to be getting blurred into one "list".

Memorializing our friends and comrades who have lost their lives pursuing the sport we all love is appropriate, and providing the detail of each incident is invaluable to both experienced jumpers and newcomers to our sport, but should this be done in one list?

To Jason’s point, as he and others pursue the progression of legal BASE in the US, occasionally the "BASE fatality list" is used as a tool to exaggerate the dangers of our sport. Don’t give agencies like the NPS tools to work against this progression, or at least force those who choose to do this cross some moral threshold by desecrating the kind memories of our comrades for some political gain by keeping a "public" list that memorializes the person not the incident without the "detail" of where and how.

Statistically BASE may be of the more dangerous sports and the value to the BASE community of each "incident report" is unquestioned but might be better suited for more private BASE forums.

The public version could be a memorial to the individual and their accomplishments in life not the "statistics" associated with their death. This would serve as a kind memorial to our comrades and still provide the "warning" to BASE newcomers without providing the unnecessary detail to others who would use it against us...or in a worse case scenario used against the person and/or their family (insurance, bad press, etc).

I guess I am suggesting two lists:

Keep the BASE Fatilty list as a "BASE Incident Report List" but store this in a more private forum.

Create a public "BASE Memorial" that memorializes the individuals as honored brethren not just statistics to learn something from.

The detail associated with each death could be placed in the "BASE Incident Report List" while the "BASE Memorial" could remain public with a vague comment the accident but focus on who the person was in life and their accomplishments.

At a minimum, maybe add a better introduction to the "BASE Fatality List" explaining why this list exists and possibly remove the "reaper" and "bloody number". Not that I care about sugar coating anything and I am a pretty big fan of skulls and such but that is my choice not a defacto catorgization.

This is obviously very "religious" debate (figuratively). Regardless of any change, I thank Nick for keeping this list for us.

Donk

PS: Nick PM me when you get a chance,

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Before I posted this, I knew that many of you would disagree with me. But what I also knew was that new ideas may be offered that could make things better. Discussions like this can be very healthy for the base community. Hopefully, some of these new ideas can be implemented.

Thanks.

PS. Truckerbase: The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is a non-profit organization that I'm involved with and we're working to gain fair and equal access to National Parks. The 10+ board members, including myself, HAVE NO COMMERCIAL INTERESTS in this. We're simply working hard for YOU so that YOU can have more places to jump. I have put more hours into the ABP in the last three months than you can imagine. So I take offense to your routine illogical and poorly thought out insinuations that I have any commercial interests. And to the hard working folks who sell BASE videos or organize commercial events - MORE POWER TO YOU. Truckerbase, if you have a problem with commercial events, you can always stay home. Cya.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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I am not a base jumper so just my opinion on this for what it's worth.

When I first stumbled across the list I found a friend of mine there. I sent you a photo of her and you added it to her entry in the list. I hope some one looking through that list and seeing the photos of people there will connect with the human side and not just the data involved in each incident.

I hope that by reading this list and connecting to those people involved, that people will learn to be be safer and that enjoyment of this exciting aspect of the sport parchuting world will be enhanced.

Keep the list. It's a great memorial. It's an educational thing.

It serves a purpose.
Watch my video Fat Women
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRWkEky8GoI

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Quote

Before I posted this, I knew that many of you would disagree with me. But what I also knew was that new ideas may be offered that could make things better. Discussions like this can be very healthy for the base community. Hopefully, some of these new ideas can be implemented.

Thanks.

PS. Truckerbase: The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is a non-profit organization that I'm involved with and we're working to gain fair and equal access to National Parks. The 10+ board members, including myself, HAVE NO COMMERCIAL INTERESTS in this. We're simply working hard for YOU so that YOU can have more places to jump. I have put more hours into the ABP in the last three months than you can imagine. So I take offense to your routine illogical and poorly thought out insinuations that I have any commercial interests. And to the hard working folks who sell BASE videos or organize commercial events - MORE POWER TO YOU. Truckerbase, if you have a problem with commercial events, you can always stay home. Cya.



Bell. One. You posted this thread with the intent to pressure Nick into complying with your individual interests and demands, because private emails met with a true base jumpers obstinate individual rebellion (yah Nick)

Two. You chose now to do so because you believe his position in the community is weakened because of his recent "stunt" for posting a suicide "gag" online, an act of "personality" and "character" which is an established
marine litany. Im an ex Navy wartime active duty vet, and I know it even if you dont. (Hoo RAH)

Three. You post your comments on a public website which is open to all to read, law enforcement, rangers, public, AND media, RIDICULOU
SLY suggesting we "cover up", "hide", "distort","lie" and "pretty up" ourselves from now on to better our public corporate image so we look better to the rangers and politics of the very system we get enough of already on a nine to five basis. We should wear suits and ties and not cuss any more to please your conception of gaining an extra legal object or two, huh?

Sotto Voce (stage whisper); (in front of the media, rangers, etc) "ok, everyone quit saying anyone dies or gets hurt or does illegal jumps anymore ok. Forget the list and we'll all wear smiley face shirts..." Dude the media is sitting right there listening to you. Are you on something? The media just did what everyone else did...copy paste save. Now the media has the list for reference....It shows we have no integrity, and are willing to sell out to the rangers and to the establishment...To change who we are to please them. Fuck that.

Look, jason bell has been doing this for a long time. The fact is jason bell wont do illegal jumps anymore, hence this focus on legal jumps.
But Bell (and the board) have forgotten what base jumping is all about, now and historically. Jolly Roger indeed. Change our stripes for a chance to be on tv? Please.

And Bell. Operating a for profit website selling pictures and videos, and t shirts and mugs and personal appearances, and running a number of base events or adverts through the same website is a commercial interest. And if youre trying to convince me that you or the board will not have commercial license and opportunity at and with and during legal events opened or developed or administered by you and/or others, you are naive. You"ll own no rights at those events? Charge no concessions? Will the base jumpers have paid slots and free access? Will there be a charge for catwalk access? Will you have a cut?

Oh, and by the way, Bell.

I dont need you or legal events to make a base jump....And I dont need your permission or the board's.

DING DING!!!

Dont let bell push you around, Nick...

edit: see my post below ~TA

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I am a new skydiver...with the sole goal of skydiving being a stepping stone to BASE. When I found dz.com, I read around and found the BASE threads. And eventually "nick's list". I read the list, each and every person. And there are valuable lessons to be learned.

Looking at that list, one theme strikes me immediately. Complacency = death. Lots of very experienced people have passed away due to improper or non-existent gear checks, not checking the exit point properely etc.

Another theme becomes clear as well. BASE is not skydiving. Exits are different, and MUCH more important. You can have 10,000 skydives, but if exit with bad position off a fixed object, you're in a world of hurt.

I think I will read the list before any day of BASE jumping, so as to try not to fall victim to the same avoidable mistakes other, much more experienced jumpers have made in the past.

As for the list discouraging new jumpers. If that list scares them away, they probably shouldn't be doing it anyways.

Also of notice, I SCUBA dive a lot. I receive two monthly publications: DAN's Alert Diver, and Scuba Diver mag. Every issue, each has a "screw up" section. DAN calls it "Incident Insights". Scuba Diver calls it "Lessons for Life". In each, a slight lead up to the incident is given, including age, experience, currency and medical conditions(as you may know, medical stuff is very important to diving safety). Then a blurb on what happened. Followed by what could have been changed to avoid the incident. More often than not, the subject of the story has deceased, or suffered severe injuries. It is not morbid. It is not frowned upon. It is a valuable teaching tool.

Your list should stay
Get in - Get off - Get away....repeat as neccessary

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Dennis Parrotte, your posts reak with inaccurate facts, misconceptions, and your own insecurities in life as well your job. So, no need for me to return fire.....

CYA!
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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Jason,

Two things:

Quote

Dennis Parrotte, your posts reak with inaccurate facts, misconceptions,



A. Except for the general aspersions he cast on your character--with which I do not agree--I thought his assessment to be eloquently and accurately stated.

B. The quote up above is perfectly consonant with your statement:

Quote

So, no need for me to return fire.....



...and then you blew it...

Quote

and your own insecurities in life as well your job.



I don't call that "returning fire." I call it a cheap shot.

When I consider the cheap shots I've fired off in my lifetime, they were all the result of my refusal to back down when I was wrong.

Maybe we're different. Then again, maybe not.

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I call them like I see them. Trust me, I've nothing to lose. BASE jumping is a very small part of my life.

This thread is about the fatality list, so if anyone cares to continue that discussion, feel free. I still have the opinion that the list needs to be modified.

RhondaLea: Thanks for the analysis, but you obviously didn't read it like I did. Dennis posts nothing but personal attacks.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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I call them like I see them. Trust me, I've nothing to lose. BASE jumping is a very small part of my life.

This thread is about the fatality list, so if anyone cares to continue that discussion, feel free. I still have the opinion that the list needs to be modified.




Keep the list in the light and the sport in the dark, which is where it belongs.



May we live long and die out

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Jason, I think the list has it's place right where it is. Every single activity in the world has a list: Member Lists, Success Lists, and Fatality Lists. All of these lists are useful for reflection and research. Keeping a fatality list, in my opinion, at the very least will open some eyes for those that are interested in that side of the story. If not then it is a very one sided story and those that don't care can have a great BASE jumping career. If the NPS and other organizations are only looking at the list for guidance for the sport then there opinion is one sided and nullified at that.

The lists possess an awareness that can only be provided by it’s presence publicly. I am glad there are these lists around. I reflect on many lists and just because it brings extreme awareness doesn't mean it's a malign thing, in my opinion. Safe jumps man…..Matt

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Well said, your posts show real insight. :)



Thanks. I appreciate the kind response, but in truth, the poster who evidences the most insight here--gently but eloquently, and with true affection for all concerned--is Karen. I wish we all had heeded her message.

rl

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If a person is looking at the list as detrimental from a business perspective, they would be better served by incorporating a high quality risk management strategy in any event they are organising.

Pretending that accidents do not happen and hiding data will not come across as positive when people consider your case.

They could use the list as data for their "business plan". They could say something along the lines of "This is what acutally happens (show list), this is how my organisation is managing the risk to ensure it does not happen".

If an organisation is using the list to prevent something from happening, use the same logic against them. i.e. NP say that people die BASE jumping, hence it should not be allowed. You say, rangers and many plants and animals die during "controlled burning", hence, by following the same democratic process we should come to a similar decision. Animals kill people, hence we should not be allowed near them. People die in the wilderness due to exposire resulting from poor planning, hence we should not allow people in the wilderness. etc. If they do not give specific reasons for banning an activity (it's happend here in Oz), their decision should be challenged. Its a constitutional right isn't it.

Good luck with it all.
Stay Safe - Have Fun - Good Luck

The above could be crap, thought provoking, useful, or . . But not personal. You decide.

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Well, I don't have all that many different objects, but I do have more than one of each type and do consider myself a BASE jumper.

I vote, keep the list. It is fine just as it is, or with any changes Nick wants to make - its his list until he wants to close it or pass it on.

If you are not ready to die, you shouldn't be BASE jumping. This list helps people decide if their Risk to Fun Ratio is appropriate.
==========================================

I didn't invent skydiving, but I jumped with the guys who did.

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Crap, the List is both a memorial and a warning, it helps us remember friends who have passed and to warn us not to fu(k up the same way. It is also the unbiased truth...

“Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.”
Sir Winston Churchill

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Dennis,

You do make some excellent points.

But you are sabotaging your own arguments by slinging a bunch of nasty pejoratives around in the midst of them.

I'm going to clean that post up a bit.

Consider this your only warning. We need to be able to discuss important topics without resorting to personal epithets.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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>>Although I understand your goal, I think you might consider that burying the facts is abhorrent to ethical people. I know you well enough to know you are ethical, so I can't figure out where you came up with this harebrained idea. Further, I think making an issue of what you allege to be Nick's obsession with death calls for an apology from you to him. But that's just my opinion, and you can do whatever you want. Just remember, though, that the webpage you propose to impose strictures on belongs to Nick, and he, like you, can do whatever he wants, no matter what public pressure you bring to bear. If it comes to a vote, then mine is that the webpage should remain as it is or as Nick may choose--without undue interference--to make it in the future. Although it now serves as an educational tool, it remains a memorial to those who have gone before. It would be a terrible thing for any of them to be forgotten.

rl <<

Hello r/l,

You are such a good writer, I couldn't find anywhere in the above to snip anything . . .

Nick :)X

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