A skydiving instructor is lucky to be alive after she risked her life to save a first time skydiving student. The individual who was engaged in an accelerated freefall skydive lost control during a jump this week at a skydiving center in Jamul, California.
The skydiving instructor in closest proximity to the student during the instruction had to move in and effectively deploy the chute for her. The skydiving instructor pulled the student’s chute at roughly 2500 feet above ground level which didn’t leave much time to deploy her own. She ultimately deployed hers at 1500 feet, but landed hard as a result, breaking both her legs and fracturing most of her ribs.
Skydive San Diego General Manager Greg Lund said, “It’s low. There’s not a lot of time for anything other than to get a parachute out and to land,” he said.
According to Lund, the unidentified skydiving instructor, who is being hailed a hero, saved the student’s life.
He said, “Her focus was to save that student’s life – kudos to her because that’s exactly what she did. Then, she had to focus on saving her own life at that point,”
Mr. Lund went further to state that during the jump, the trainee was jumping alongside two skydiving instructors when she started to spin. That is when the female skydiving instructor moved in to assist.
Lund said, “If they’re altitude aware, they will pull (the parachute) at a designated altitude which is 5,000 feet and if it’s below that the instructor’s job is to go ahead and deploy that parachute for the student to make sure they get a good parachute deployed over their head.”
The student landed safely in the designated landing zone. Unfortunately, the Instructor was not so lucky. She was airlifted following her hard landing to a local hospital. According to Lund however, things could have been considerably worse. He indicated, “Could have easily gone another way had the instructor not done her job.”
Accelerated freefall is a method of training for skydivers in which after several progressive levels of instruction culminate in a student having the ability to skydive unaccompanied. It is common practice in preliminary jumps while training in accelerated freefall for one or more skydiving instructors to jump alongside trainees simply for this very purpose amongst others.