Australian skydiver Christopher Jones doesn’t remember about 30 seconds of his recent jump. There’s a good reason for that. He was unconscious – with a seizure shortly after exiting the plane at 12,000 feet as part of a sky diving course.
Not exactly the best place for a medical emergency to hit, but that’s exactly what happens, and all caught on the jump master’s head camera and now loaded on YouTube under the name Nomadic Adrenaline.
A Sky Diver’s Nightmare
The video captures Jones’s self-professed possibly scariest moment of his life (um, no kidding). From the viewer’s perspective, it’ll send chills up your spine to watch him break away from instructor Sheldon McFarlane at 0:37 when he tries to grab the distressed jumper so he can pull his chute.
The good news is that McFarlane quickly realized something was up and didn’t panic. They successfully connected 4,000 feet, and pulled the chute, after which Jones came to and landed successfully.
As you’d expect, the video is making the rounds online and in Australia. McFarlane, for his part, downplays his role in saving the man’s life and says he does not like to be called a hero.
At the risk of offending him, I’m gonna say it one more time. Sheldon McFarlane is a hero. There, we’re good.
Sky Diving is a Self-Regulated Industry
The incident raises several questions. Among those being, who should sky dive. And just as important, who should NOT?
Sky diving is self-regulated in the United States and in many countries. It’s largely up to each outfit to use judgement to determine who should make the jump. The situation is fairly similar here in Canada, where the governing body is the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association, which watches over the sport, and guides sky diving outfits in the best practices direction.
I guess the takeaway message here is that some people should indeed NOT go sky diving. I don’t know Jones’s medical history but if he knew he was epileptic, he may have just pushed his luck. Just the same, a big sigh of relief that he made it out of this one, and an effective reminder to think twice about sky diving if you have health concerns or conditions. Or try indoor sky diving, where medics are a quick phone call away.