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GaryP

Story of a survived bounce - any more out there??

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I gotta say I'm pretty amazed by the jumper's survival in this incident. There is a number of us it seems who have bounced and lived and I was wondering if there are any other story's like this.

At a recent international event I was asked by a dozen or so jumpers to recall an incident early on in my BASE career. The story was met with amazement (as it always is) and I've since had a number of you ask me to tell it again. Sorry if you've already heard this. It's quite funny to me to hear the versions that are going around the rumour mill - so here's the real story.

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August 1987, My 2nd BASE -invited for a D-BAGjump off a 460' B under construction in Sydney. Yeah I know it's high for a D-Bag but that's what we did in those days and it was my 2nd BASE.

Modified skydiving gear with 7-cell canopy in a freebag (D-Bag) with safety bridle attached to object - no p/c.. The lines are stowed on the bag and closed with rubber bands. My mentor is holding my D-bag at the exit point with the bridle running from the bag, over his shoulder and clean to the attachment point of the Bldg - or so he thought.

1st jumper goes off and lands next to taxi which panics ground crew into calling to "go go go - cops are coming!!!" so my mentor says to "go"

"Am I right to go??" I ask my mentor

"Yeah mate, you're good to go - GO!!" he commands

.. and so I exit ... but alas the bridle was not running clear to the bldg but was misrouted around the RH main lift web so that when I jumped the bag was ripped from his hands as it fell away with me and then the bridle broke.....putting me, locked bag and broken bridle in freefall with no deployment available.

After exit I felt the hard tug of my bridle which spun me 180 to the right. Next thing I remember vividly was being flat & stable, facing the corner of the bldg in freefall, d-bag & lines floating in front of my face, several line-stows locking the bag and a broken bridle wavering pilotchuteless in the ever-increasing airflow, all backdropped against the rush of vertically growing concrete & steel.

The next thing I saw was a beam coming up at me at the most-perfect trajectory.... instinctively I grabbed for it and I landed along it's length parallel with my body. By this stage my body had gone through a complete 360 from exit allowing my body to become parallell with this beam at precicely the critical time in the fall. This was an absolute fluke of physics -the bridle breaking at a time when there was a slight swing-back toward the object - unbelieveable. This beam is actually part of the bldg skeleton where a window was to be put in. There was no floor on this level, nor the next 3 floors down so I had a 400' drop outside and a 60ish' drop inside. I landed between two steel plate fixtures where the window was to be affixed - lucky not to be impailed, lucky not to have glanced off this beam, lucky not to have fallen inside the bldg, lucky to land the length of my body - more than just lucky - this was a fluke of physics - like betting your life you can toss a coin onto a table and have it land on it's edge in one go.

...And so I impacted hard and it hurt like hell but knew I was in a bad spot and had to stay concious. After cutting away the bag & lines I managed to shuffle along the beam to a spot where some resourcefulness of my mates resulted in a series of ropes and steel cables which saw me being lowered down the inside of the building from my precarious point. I often think of the construction workers coming to work the next day and scratching their heads wondering how the ropes and cables "got up there!!!". Anyway - result - fractured ribs and punctured lung but I managed to walk down the stairs the rest of the way & go home (then to Emergency).

As a result I became a very conservative jumper. I gave up BASE for 3 years but could not resist the calling and resumed jumping but with a new approach of respect for BASE, life and equipment. Some have suggested I should have punched the bag-holder in the face for the fake gear check but I knew BASE is about choice and ultimate responsibility (although I never would trust him again). For a while I had a fastidious preoccupation with my bridle. "Is my bridle clear??" is a question that you would hear often if you shared an exit point with me in the past. Nowadays, with a number of jumps under my belt, it aint so bad although friends that know, know not to make jokes at the exit point about my bridle.;)

Respect
Gary
"Altitude is birthright to any individual who seeks it"

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There was a local BASE jumper named John J. several years ago who did a direct bag water tower jump. The jumper was a really tough guy - an alcoholic oil rig worker. He was at the bar and he convinced some patron there to go to the water tower and hold his direct bag. Anyway, John forgot to attach the bag bridle to the tower. When he jumped, the drunken bar patron freaked and dropped the bag. John fell 160 feet to the ground without a parachute. The parachute stayed in the bag the whole way down. John somehow did not break any bones, but he sustained a severe concussion that lead to severe lifelong emotional problems and memory problems.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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The same sort of thing happened to a jumper in Quebec. D-Bag not tied off, inexperienced person dropped it. He went in from 360 canopy still in the D-Bag. Lucky for him it was in the middle of the winter, he landed in a snow drift. People up top thought he was dead, and called 911. All he broke was his ankle. Put a ton of heat on a very sweet object, when he spoke to the media. [:/]
NEVER GIVE UP!

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I don't know him... So I won't repost the story. But maybe he still reads these forums or someone that was there does. I read this on Blinc 4 or 5 years ago.

Anyone know the story of Crater Nate and his tailgate hang up? I was amazed when I read it back then. Seem to remember something about a PCA over dry land and a (black?) rubber band larksheaded on the tailgate....

"Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
Hunter S. Thompson

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Theres a guy that calls himself safety nate. He went in with a pullup cord tied around his lines as a packing aid. He lived but I never met him before the accident so maybe he was different. One of his hands has six fingers. His brother is homosexual and jumps every BD. Made a video of base jumps and never paid me for my .37 seconds I was on it.

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