Skydiver survives fall from tree
A 24-YEAR-OLD thrill seeker sustained multiple injuries after a skydiving attempt went horribly wrong at Ripcord Sky Divers near Gatton at the weekend.
The man, believed to be an international student studying in Brisbane, was caught hanging 10 metres off the ground when his parachute became tangled in a tree after he drifted off course.
While medical crews rushed to his aid, the branch the man was hanging from snapped and he fell to the ground, suffering serious neck and spinal injuries, a department of Community Safety spokesperson said.
He was transported to the PA Hospital in Brisbane about 2pm by the Emergency Management Queensland Rescue 500 helicopter.
Ripcord Sky Divers jump zone safety officer John Friswell said the accident was a result of poor judgment from the person involved.
He said all equipment had been thoroughly checked for faults and nothing had been found.
"This was the man's third jump but his first solo so we put him through all of the necessary training beforehand," Mr Friswell said.
"It appears as though he didn't activate his steering mechanism when directed to by the instructor on his radio, which is like taking your hands off the steering wheel and letting the car take over."
Mr Friswell said despite the best gear and best training, sometimes things could just go wrong.
"We have had more than 11,000 jumps here and very few accidents," he said.
"It appears as though this man has just had a sensory overload and despite our best efforts to direct him in safely, he simply ignored our instructions."