Sky­dive tragedy in NQ

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

AN eye­wit­ness who saw a sky­dive tragedy un­fold said he could do noth­ing but watch as a sky­diver dropped to­wards the earth.

Po­lice yes­ter­day de­clared a crime scene at the area where three sky­divers died at Mis­sion Beach.

It is un­der­stood one of the vic­tims was found by a res­i­dent in their back­yard where he was later pro­nounced dead by paramedics.

“I watched it un­fold,” the man, who did not wish to be named, said.

“You could see one chute was tan­gled and it wasn’t open­ing. I was just watch­ing him in free fall un­til he went be­hind the trees, and that was the last I saw.”

The wit­ness said it ap­peared the sky­diver did not ac­ti­vate a backup para­chute af­ter the first one failed.

“I don’t un­der­stand how three peo­ple could have died, un­less some­one was try­ing to catch them,” he said. “I could un­der­stand two, maybe, but not three.”

He said the mood in town was som­bre as res­i­dents came to terms with what had hap­pened.

The area is be­lieved to be a sparsely pop­u­lated area near the Clump Point jetty turn-off and is un­der­stood to be some dis­tance from the nor­mal land­ing zone for sky­divers.

A po­lice spokes­woman said it was be­lieved a solo sky­diver may have col­lided with tan­dem sky­divers in midair with their para­chutes fail­ing to de­ploy cor­rectly.

The trio were in their 30s and 40s.

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