During an airshow in Oak Bay, British Columbia, two skydivers were injured.
The injuries resulted in a trip to the hospital but weren’t life threatening, and both skydivers are expected to make a full recovery. The injuries occurred during the Oak Bay Tea Party, an annual event held in Oak Bay, British Columbia, the most western province of Canada. Oak Bay Police Sgt. Chris Goudie confirmed that the two skydiver were hurt when they made a “hard landing” during an aerial performance at the Tea Party. Goudie said that both men were taken to the hospital and that the most serious injury appears to be a broken leg.
According to Goudie, the skydiver with the broken leg was conscious and speaking to police officers.
Goudie describe the man as a “fairly tough guy, typical military.” The other man is reported to have a broken ankle. The incident occurred on Sunday June 4, 2017. The time of the landing was 3:20 p.m. Volunteers from St. John Ambulance were the first on the scene. The two men were taken to the hospital by B.C ambulance paramedics and Oak Bay Fire Department personnel.
Both skydivers were part of Capital City Skydiving that has been involved in the annual event since 1971.
This year was the Oak Bay Tea Party’s 55th year. The owner of Capital City Skydiving, Bob Verret, commented on the incident. He also jumped with his son, Daniel Verret—one of the jumpers hospitalized. “The winds are usually from the north or the south. They’re usually perfect for landing there. That’s where they were calling the winds, from the south along the beach. The first two planes went in and dropped their jumpers and it went well,” Verret said.
The second wave of skydivers came from two different planes. There were eight in total.
Verret described the jump as normal and fine at first, but said that they can’t see the wind and they go by a flag on the beach. “When I was coming down the flag was straight up and down, the main thrust of the wind was from the south.” Verret said. “However when we were about 15 feet from the ground we all experienced a gust, a burble, and it basically was collapsing our canopies. It didn’t matter what we did.”
“It was the last second,” Verret said. “I’m three seconds from landing when all of a sudden my parachute is not responding anymore.”
When talking about his son, Daniel, Bob said, “His canopy basically did a 90 degree swipe to the right and pounded him sideways on the beach.” “These jumpers, they’re all professional jumpers basically, you have to have at least 500 jumps to be an exhibition jump rating. They are the top of the line,” Verret said. “They’ll heal and we’ll get back on track again. The guys that got injured, they’re going to go back at it.”
Hundreds of people attended this year’s event.
Aside from the airshow, other events took place included a parade and fireworks. According to their website, “The Oak Bay Tea Party has two reasons to exist: a fun time for the community and helping service organizations, such as the Kiwanis and Lions, raise funds for their many community projects.”