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article imageSkydiver survives 13,000 foot jump after parachute fails

By Darren Weir     Aug 17, 2012 in World
Christchurch - A New Zealand skydiver is lucky to be alive after surviving a 13,000 ft (4000 meters) fall after his parachute failed and his reserve chute only partly opened.
AFP reports 35-year old Liam Dunne landed in swampy ground that helped cushion the impact of his landing. But his feet left 10 centimeter (4-inch) indentations in the ground when he landed.
Dunne opened his main chute at about 1200 meters but realized he had to cut it free when he wasn't able to steer. His reserve chute only opened about 220 meters (720 feet) from the ground.
Sydney Morning Herald reports St John Ambulance team manager Gary Tobin saying the skydiver was rushed to hospital in "an awful lot of pain" and was conscious. He's now listed in stable condition with spine and leg injuries at Christchurch Hospital.
Witnesses Georgie and Kim Eschweiler tell the Sydney Morning Herald they watched as he landed hard on the airport's southern side behind some hangars. Eschweiler says, "He came down fast and hit the ground full blast."
Dunne was an experienced skydiver and had reportedly completed more than a thousand jumps including 10 to 20 jumps at the Good Vibes Festival on New Zealand's South Island, before the accident.
His wife was flown to Christchurch to be by his side and the New Zealand Herald reports Dunne sent a message to all his well-wishers on his Facebook page. "Sally and I are totally blown away by all the messages of love and support. Sorry for the scare. Will update later. Love you all Liam.''
He has since posted an update, "So after a fairly long and uncomfortable night, I am laying up in bed. The good news is my right leg is fine. I can move, bend and wiggle toes. More worrying is that my left leg is pretty numb. I can wiggle toes but that's about it. Early days, so trying to focus on the positives. Needless to say this is all fairly scary shit, but the fact that I am even alive, is what I need to hold on to."
More about Skydiver, New Zealand, Falls, Parachute, Jump
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