Cut-away: Close Call or Common Occurrence

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A skydiving jump site in Kamloops, a Canadian city in British Columbia, enjoyed a busy weekend. Hundreds of skydivers took flight and made a total of 1,600 jumps throughout the weekend.

Each and every skydive, except for one, went off without a hitch.

Emergency crews were called to the scene after being notified by a concerned citizen. The man reported witnessing a stray parachute falling from the sky. Anybody who is familiar with the sport of skydiving would assume that this wayward chute is likely due to a cut-away. This turned out to be exactly what had happened. The emergency responders quickly resolved the issue and skydivers continued to enjoy an amazing weekend of jumps.

For those unfamiliar with common skydiving procedures, a ‘cut-away’ occurs when a skydiver’s first chute fails to deploy. While not necessarily a common occurrence, these things do happen. When they do, skydivers are more than prepared with a backup parachute. Generally these cut-aways are usually a minor frustration for skydivers. A lost parachute is nothing to scoff at, and finding the cut-away can prove to be a pain. Not to mention that nobody enjoys repacking two parachutes rather than just one. With so many skydivers participating in such a large number of jumps, safety is going to be a top concern at a jump site. Kamloops Skydivers Club manager, Dean Schryver, says that this was exactly the case this past weekend.

Designated emergency personnel was on site throughout the weekend in order to monitor the safety and security of the events in and around the jump zone. This particular weekend was not just another few days of jumps at the Kamloops dive zone. Every year local skydivers come out to the Kamloops airport and enjoy a weekend of jumps and general skydiving revelry. This year over 1,600 total jumps were performed by 130 individual skydivers. Each of these numbers made for record marks on the 50th anniversary of the Kamloops event. Hundreds more were on hand to witness the skydiving escapades throughout the weekend.

Attendance was not the only record broken over this memorable weekend.

A total of three separate Canadian records were broken over the course of this momentous weekend. A group of divers took part in a formation dive and were able to break the record for a formation ‘head up’ skydive. Head Up body flight is largely considered the most difficult position to balance while being able to build formations, so this record is truly something to be proud of. A single skydiver was able to set a new record for the most number of jumps performed in a single day by a woman. And yet another woman set a new record for longest distance covered in a canopy flight. Each of these three records are legit as three officials from the lower mainland were in attendance.

It was certainly a skydiving weekend for the ages in Kamloops as the aforementioned emergency call marked the only hiccup in the festivities. The record attendance is a sign of the growing popularity of the sport. With that popularity, comes a greater understanding of the procedures and a higher awareness as to just how safe skydiving actually is.

One thing is for sure-a concerned Kamloops citizen learned just what a cut-away is.

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