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Anvilbrother

Fatalities, leaving a jumper behind, and the Pact.

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I am still waiting for one valid reason to be posted by the base community that supports and vindicates ones action for leaving a fellow jumper that is either dead, dying, or injured. Sorry, if you think the reasons given out thus far are valid, I just dont seem to think so.



Two adults participating in an adult sport. They had talked out what to do in advance if shit hit the fan. What's the point in talking it out if you aren't going to follow it? If you don't like the arrangement, don't jump with that load/crew.

For example, if you wanted your dead body left behind, no problem. But I would not start cutting gear off a corpse. So if NickNitro absolutely insisted that I cut gear off his corpse, I guess I won't be jumping these kinds of loads with him.

Maybe this guy Mike is on probation or parole... Or wanted for a crime or back taxes or something... Could be lots of things unrelated to this jump that a run in with law enforcement would result in horrific consequences.

I'm crossing my fingers for this Mike guy to have left a map or details for the family when he mailed the note to them...giving himself a chance to get as far away from the scene as possible in the meantime.
Get in - Get off - Get away....repeat as neccessary

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Part of the risk of this sport, if you choose to do it illegaly,is that you may find yourself facing the police with your dead friend lying on the ground before you. If you don't have what it takes to stand there and face it like a man(or woman)then you shouldn't be doing it in the first fucking place .Jump at the Perrine or some of the other legal object but stay away from the illegal ones if you aren't prepared to face the consequences. Calling days later and not giving enough info to find the body is inexcusable.



exactly. well said.

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Since I don't know how close these guys were, how they came to agree on such a pact if there was one or how it really went down I'll just throw down my thoughts on this as a hypothetical situation.
The whole pact thing to me is a little nutz but if these guys really truly believe in this little contract then whatevs, that is their business as far as I am concerned.
If they really left him lying there for the coyotes and told no one the location of the body As Soon As Fucking Possible that is really beyond disgusting and Karma is a bitch!
I feel happy knowing that myself and the people I choose to jump with don't need such pacts because nobody would ever get left behind no matter what.....NOT EVER!>:(
SabreDave

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Adios, I agree with most of your post. If it was an SOB in the situation, I'd like to think that someone would stick around my dead ass until the coroner got there. And I damn sure know that I wouldn't leave one of you guys lying there, and just haul ass.

UNLESS, we had had some sort of conversation prior to the event that was of some other wishes. If a brother has a particular wish upon such an event, I would respect his wishes.

That being said, there are plenty of ways to notify the authorities with it coming back to haunt you. I can't imagine that an anonymously placed phone call from a pay phone about a dead base jumper would create a CSI like investigation of said payphone or that my voice would be running through all sort of voice recognition software trying to find me. I'd like to think the cops have something more important to do than try to track down some guy that witnessed a guy go in on a base jump.

Ganja "DON'T LEAVE ME BEHIND, BUT DON"T GET BUSTED OVER MY DEAD SELF EITHER" Rodriguez

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This whole issue is a really grey area.



No. It isn't.

Adam Fillipino said it best in a post to The Base Board on May 31, 2002:

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What is to be gained by staying with the body and taking the best the government can dish out,



Dignity. We play a high stakes game called BASE jumping. We also are involved in being human beings.

It is a major ethical /judgement slip to leave a dead friend behind. Maybe it was a bad decision made under a lot of duress. But frankly it's something you shold think about before you leave the house because you may be forced to decide.

When the worst happens--all the cloak and dagger ##### ends--you start playing by the rules of life.

Sure, leaving the scene and calling used to be part of our little Black Death mantra. It's also part of how the BASE continually undermines it's own legitimacey.



I can't do any better than that.

rl

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I would first like to offer my condolences to Scott's family and offer my assistance in any way possible. Feel free to reach me here by private message if there's anything I can do. I would also like to assure them that this is not the face of BASE. The actions of "Mike" are not an accurate representation of the BASE community.

A lot of points have been made around this incident and I'm sure I'll be repeating a few things that have already been said. While a lot of the points made have been a matter of opinion, I'm going to focus on the ones that are fact and not not open to interpretation, such as: agreements between the deceased and other jumpers on the load, ethics, or morality.

Learning even basic first aid not only might help your fallen brother/sister, but might also save you from your conscience in the future.

The moment you touch the deceased's body in any manner other than to attempt to resuscitate or give medical attention, you have disturbed what the authorities will only see as "evidence" and tampering with evidence is not only a crime, but something that will be used against you if and when the authorities find out. This includes tampering with or removing the rig.

The more you try to hide, the harder the authorities will work to find the truth. If you opt for the anonymous phonecall, be prepared to 1.) provide enough information and 2.) face the music if you're found.

The longer it takes them to find the truth, the more suspicious they will grow.

If you run, you're leaving the problem for others to deal with. This includes the family of the jumper, as well as other locals who are attempting to do the right thing for themselves. A wild example would be a lone jumper in the Middle East who is rousted from bed whenever a BASE jump is made in his city. Examples in this case would be the local jumpers checking sites.

Now, my opinion on The Pact (which are open to interpretation):

If we're on a jump and you go in, your problems are over and mine are just beginning. Apologies for being so blunt, but I'm not going to let them get worse for far more people. I've never agreed to leave a dead jumper behind (and doubt I ever will), but if I ever do and said jumper goes in, I reserve the right to change my mind. It wasn't your "last wish" unless you expired in front of me with those as your last words. I will act on my own conscience and that will be to do The Right Thing, despite the consequences I'll endure. I'm human, and I was jumping with you for a reason. So don't expect me to keep that pact.

The highest stake in BASE is death, and therefore it is the one that deserves the most respect.
-C.

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Wow. So are you guys telling me that the threat of being charged with "aeriel delivery" is a major concern and basis for leaving a fellow jumper that has died? Seriously?



Huh?

How did you get that out of my posts?

I, personally, would not be willing to leave a man down on the ground. I wouldn't be willing to live with myself having made that decision.

I'm really confused as to where you got "I'd bail and leave someone" out of my posts. Can you point it out to me so that I can go back and clear up the misconception?

Thanks!
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Part of the risk of this sport, if you choose to do it illegaly,is that you may find yourself facing the police with your dead friend lying on the ground before you. If you don't have what it takes to stand there and face it like a man(or woman)then you shouldn't be doing it in the first fucking place .Jump at the Perrine or some of the other legal object but stay away from the illegal ones if you aren't prepared to face the consequences. Calling days later and not giving enough info to find the body is inexcusable.



Very well said 515.

OK - CASE POINT: A recent BASE fatality here in Oz. Local "E" that has a history of busts and fines. Jumper on the load known well to all who were there goes in and all on the load split. An anonymous call is made to the police as to the location. The jumper is, without question, deceased. The initial intention was for one jumper to stay with the deceased as the others left (not a bad plan) but for some reasone this jumper decided to leave as well after the others had left. The result was the apperance that all had decided to leave the scene. In the news aftermath the media (print & TV) focused intensely on the fact that his "friends abandoned him". This fact was the prelude and headline on every story on the incident. It was very bad publicity for BASE here. At least one jumper on the load that I know well has much regret about leaving the scene and had much turmoil over the choice made. The jumpers parents were outraged as was the public and police. The parents held much anomosity toward those that abandoned their son.

Just a factual slice of the aftermath of "bailing out".

g.
"Altitude is birthright to any individual who seeks it"

.

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Wow. So are you guys telling me that the threat of being charged with "aeriel delivery" is a major concern and basis for leaving a fellow jumper that has died? Seriously?



Huh?

How did you get that out of my posts?

I, personally, would not be willing to leave a man down on the ground. I wouldn't be willing to live with myself having made that decision.

I'm really confused as to where you got "I'd bail and leave someone" out of my posts. Can you point it out to me so that I can go back and clear up the misconception?

Thanks!



My response was not meant as an accusation that you personally would leave a fellow jumper out of fear of this charge. My response was more so directed at all the other posters that have said legal ramification is a concern and something that would be taken into consideration as justification for leaving a fellow jumper.

I went back and edited the title of my response, I apologize if it did appear as though it was directed at you, it wasnt. Thanks -

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At least one jumper on the load that I know well has much regret about leaving the scene and had much turmoil over the choice made. The jumpers parents were outraged as was the public and police. The parents held much anomosity toward those that abandoned their son.



Just wondering, is he so overwhelmed with grief that he would turn himself in? I thought not.

I've already said, if this is the "Pact" or "Agreement" made between BASE jumpers prior to making any subsequent jumps, so be it. BUT not giving the next of kin the X's & Y's is horrific. GPS devices are just too stinking cheap.
-Richard-
"You're Holding The Rope And I'm Taking The Fall"

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The jumpers parents were outraged as was the public and police. The parents held much anomosity toward those that abandoned their son.



IMO:
My guess at the reason would probably be that dead bodies tend to get lonely, hence the collective nature of morgues and cemeteries. That way fresh bodies that go to a morgue don't get lonely cause they have a bunch of other bodies to be sociable with. So when nobody is around to keep the expired body company while it waits for the county coroner, it naturally gets lonely, and that's inhumane. The big difference when a body expires and is waiting 30 minutes or X minutes or however long the coroner takes to get there, is to keep it company, thereby guarding against its loneliness.
"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. " -John Galt from Atlas Shrugged, 1957

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My response was more so directed at all the other posters that have said legal ramification is a concern and something that would be taken into consideration as justification for leaving a fellow jumper.


BASE jumpers sould include incredible detail into their risk assessment.

one possibility is that do to job issues, prior arrests, outstanding warrants, etc. your jump partner might not want to stick around and be arrested. if anyone thinks this way, IT MUST BE DISCUSSED. I might choose not to jump.

most of the posts appear to realize this is a hypothetical reality. few agree with leaving a fallen comrade. please don't confuse expressing a reason for this "pact" as condoning it.

oh, and NO ONE appears happy with the woefully inadequate communication.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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OK - CASE POINT: A recent BASE fatality here in Oz.



More cases to consider (two tower fatalities in US):

#1: dealt with by the pact (anonymous call to authorities, video tape removed). Police has opened a homicide investigation and tracked other jumpers down the next day. Jumpers were threatened but did not get charged. The tape had to be turned over to police, became public domain and was shown on TV all over the country.

#2: jumpers stayed with the body. Not charged, as no law was broken in front of police.

The outcomes of both cases were pretty similar. #2 got resolved quicker.

I had to deal with two cliff fatalities and coordinated S&R with police before. However those happened at legal sites in a civilized country.

From a pure technical point of view, once an emergency call is made and all relevant information is passed on to authorities, you are not very useful.

After all necessary steps are done, i would not blame those who choose to leave. As an example, in USA, anybody who is not a citizen cannot afford to be even charged with a crime - you are screwed even if it never goes to court or is dismissed. Many other situations exist where staying will bring more harm then good. If you think you can help the living by staying with a body, please do so. If not, do not ruin another life.

There is no easy answer - it will always be a hard choice. Whatever you do, please use common sense.

bsbd!

Yuri.

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UNLESS, we had had some sort of conversation prior to the event that was of some other wishes. If a brother has a particular wish upon such an event, I would respect his wishes.



I don't think I could make that wish though... or at least not force someone to do something against what they want to do. The whole "Pact" thing does just seem like over-the-top bravado/cloak-and-dagger BS. My request would just be to do what you feel is best. And depending on the situation, how hard would it be to just claim ignorance? You don't have to admit to anything or incriminate yourself. Maybe I'm over-simplifying... I've been known to.
it's like incest - you're substituting convenience for quality

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I think the current situation is downright embarrassing to the sport (not to mention irresponsible, tragic, and cold), and I see no reason for "mike" to not give more information than "your son is dead". That really pisses me off.


The above about sums it up for me-hey "Mike guy" grow some damn balls and step back up to the plate; otherwise go burn your gear and crawl back in your damn hole!
And as others have said-no shit-do not remove gear or disturb the scene other than to attempt to render aid!!!! I realize I may think differently after working the street, but it boggles my mind that anyone would suggest doing this.
To do so just raises all the red flags of possible foul play!!! And then the diggin will really start; just as stated happened in another post here.

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we can all site here high and mighty but everyone on this site is paranoid about getting nicked thats why we speek in code and don't talk about sites.
ya this mike messed up. But did u ever think he's so upset that he's not thinking strait, would u be after seeing your freind go in .Can u even think of the paranioa. last night I almost walked away from a site because i was afraid of getting cought not flicking but going back to jail. I mean i jumped any way but it was pretty laim.
TOSS MY SALAD
I'm an invincible re-tarded ninja
derka derka bakala bakala muhammad jihad
1072

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I do want you to know, Mike contacted us again. He said he sat with Scott till he passed. We are thankful he didnt die alone. I still want to know where his body is, but in time, Im sure that too will pass.



I'm sorry for your loss, I know what you must be going through right now and I appologise for the childish actions of the other jumper. If Mike sat there until your son died then he had time to do someting to save him. I know this must be very tough on you and I appreciate you not holding it against the community in general.
On New Years eve, I had to deal with the same decisions as Mike and I chose to stay and be with my dead friend and to be there for my other friends who were also present at the time of the accident. It's a personal choice but a persons true character shows in times of tradegy, that's why jumpers need to choose their jump partners wisely as you stated.

I hope soon you will be able to put this issue to rest.
My thoughts are with you.
Jason

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ya this mike messed up. But did u ever think he's so upset that he's not thinking strait, would u be after seeing your freind go in .Can u even think of the paranioa.



Yes, I was thinking clearly after my friend died 3 weeks ago in front of me. I made the call, I stayed at the site, I dealt with the cops just as the 3 others that were there and I'm pretty sure we all sleep better at night knowing that we stayed with a fallen brother. His family also appreciated us for not fleeing the scene like in this incident. Maybe people should think more of others than of themselves once in a while... the world might be a better place if we did.

Jason

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my hat goes off to u, you are what we all strive to be.
but not everyone is as strong as u thats why your a real base jumper u think rasionaly under pressure.
and if u cant do that then maybe u shouldn't be jumping. that is for everyone else.but I thank u for setting a good example it's good to have freinds like u . it would be a honer to flick with u some day
TOSS MY SALAD
I'm an invincible re-tarded ninja
derka derka bakala bakala muhammad jihad
1072

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srew that I would burn anyone of my site for my family base jumpers and skydivers are the only family most of us have and on evrey jump even the ones weve flicked 50 or 60 time day blazing, i tell everyone there that i love them because on any given jump u can die and i want to tell my freinds how i feel before i go.(no regrets) I would die for any of the boys in my crew and any one else I jump with.if there good enough to flick with there good enough to stick by weather in a tree or a hospital or even a morge. thank u for your time we all have diffrent opinions thats what makes this forum great
TOSS MY SALAD
I'm an invincible re-tarded ninja
derka derka bakala bakala muhammad jihad
1072

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I get the impression that many of us have gone out and recieved some type of medical training. I have a medical first responder rating. How about some of the rescues in Moab that have been performed by base jumpers. As far as I am concerned some of those were beyond amazing.



This is the impression that I get as well. I attended an Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course with the ski patrol a few years ago, and have CPR and AED certifications (not current, but I still remember).



Unfortunately you are wrong to assume you can decide clearly whether a person is dead or not. I have some medical training as well, working for the Red Cross as a first aid responder etc.

At least in Europe we are _required_ to perform CPR as long as it takes (that can be hours and more) unless
1. there are absolutely clear signs of death (head detached from body, body in state of decomposition, rigor mortis, and some other) or
2. a doctor declares the person dead.

There is a reason why a doctor must do this (possibly with a brain scan etc.) and not me or you with some basic training (compared to a doctor).
If a body is heavily wrecked the blood pressure may be so low that you have no chance to ever feel it - especially in a high stress situation when you have seen the jumper going in. The pressure may still be enough though to let the person live on until proper medical help arrives.

Yes, in many cases even a really badly injured person will still have his / her conscience and can tell you what or where it is hurting. But in many cases as well the person will be without conscience, and then it is time for a doctor to decide whether the person is dead or not.

So even if a jumper is really badly injured, without conscience, losing blood etc. and one thinks "jumper is probably dead" one should really stay there and perform basic measures that one has hopefully learned in CPR training or wherever.

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(not current, but I still remember)


Sorry, do not take this bad, but with some probability you may remember what you learned a few years ago (but with some probability you will not), but even if you remember you might just lack the necessary routine to perform seemingly simple things like only feeling blood pressure.

It is one thing to have felt and checked vital signs in the quiet atmosphere during your course, and another to do the same things under high pressure when a real person might be dying. And with the experience lying back several years it will only get more difficult.

So, while I applaud everybody who has taken such courses I dare say it makes very much sense to get refresher trainings from time to time. I am doing this at least once a month, and I can feel the difference when the break was very long.

It is the same when you have been out of jumping for some time.


bsbd.

--
Eduard

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I didn't want to comment because I'm not a BASE jumper... but I was just thinking..

From the facts that we know, it appears that these guys were relatively inexperienced jumpers and didn't go through the proper channels of training (at least we know Scott didn't). Is it possible then, that they went on the jump, the worst happened - and they just panicked? These guys aren't known to the jumpers in the region in which they were jumping, maybe they were just a little misinformed about how to deal with such a situation.
Perhaps they just panicked and that's why they left him and made that call.. and now the consequences of their actions have mounted up that it is too late for them (in their perception) to act responsibly?

Condolences to the family..

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well then, I guess I stand corrected.

I have been meaning to take some refresher courses, especially since I've gotten into BASE. I can't fathom the thought of being with a brother in need and not having the knowledge to help him (or her) until the real professionals arrive.

Unfortunately, none of the people that I usually jump with have any medical/first-aid background (that I know of). That fact makes me a bit uneasy, especially as I watch this current situation unfold.

In addition to discussing the ethics of the pact that we've all been talking about, maybe we should start thinking about how prepared we are if we encounter a similar situation ourselves?

Maybe Scott could have still been helped? Even if he couldn't, I'm sure that this possibility will haunt the jumpers who were with him for the rest of their lives, not to mention the family.

I dont mean to hijack the thread, Tom, so feel free to break this off into a new thread if people start running with it. (as if you need my permission or something :S)

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