Two survive dramatic skydiving accident in Australia
January 1, 1997
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EST (0230 GMT)
SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Two seasoned skydivers ran into serious trouble Wednesday on an exhibition dive following the National Skydiving Championships in Australia.
Seconds before they were to land, they collided and their chutes became entangled at about 1,640 feet.
Hundreds of horrified spectators at the National Skydiving
Championships at Corowa, 335 miles southwest of Sydney in southern New South Wales, watched as the two skydivers tumbled wildly through the air and crashed into a field.
The divers were unable to release their safety chutes because they were caught in the tangled rigging.
The partially-opened parachute and the angle at which they landed greatly reduced the impact, officials said. They hit the ground at 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour), and both survived.
Geoff Divco was taken to hospital with a fractured skull, a collapsed lung and broken ribs. His jumping partner, Jerome
Rich, walked away with minor bruises.
The men are both experienced skydivers were making a non- competitive freestyle jump after the completion of competitive jumping, said Gary Myors, safety officer at the championships.
"Basically they just ran into each other. Their parachutes
opened, but when they collided the parachutes collapsed and they crashed into the paddock," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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