Skydiving is a dangerous sport, says the owner of Capital City Skydiving in North Saanich. Emergency training and practice can help avoid trouble, as in the case of a skydiver who cut away a malfunctioning chute on April 22. (Facebook)

Skydiving is a dangerous sport, says the owner of Capital City Skydiving in North Saanich. Emergency training and practice can help avoid trouble, as in the case of a skydiver who cut away a malfunctioning chute on April 22. (Facebook)

B.C. skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Greater Victoria emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

A skydiver was able to cut free a spiralling parachute and deploy her backup chute during a jump over Victoria last weekend.

She landed safely, says the owner of Capital City Skydiving, but passers-by saw the malfunctioning parachute, thought it was a skydiver in distress and called emergency services.

Bob Verett says the skydiver landed safely, having performed an emergency cut away of a chute that had spiraled almost immediately after being deployed on her jump.

“She did the right thing at high altitude,” he said.

Verret noted he and his instructors train people on emergency procedures, and what to do in the event a chute fails is one of them.

“Emergency procedures are taught to all our students and we review it throughout the year. And we review them each time we’re in the aircraft.”

In this case, Verret said the skydiver deployed her chute and could not control it. He said the emergency procedure is to assess the situation as quickly as you can — no one on the ground is able to help — and if a jumper cannot resolve an issue with their main parachute, they are to cut it away and deploy their secondary chute.

“She did a good job and she landed safely.”

Verret said both paramedics and the Central Saanich Fire Department were called and arrived at the jump zone at Woodwynn Farms on West Saanich Road. By then, the skydiver had already landed. Verret added she plans to jump again this week.

Verret, who has more than 2,200 jumps under his belt and was a search and rescue technician with the Canadian Forces, said his first parachute cut away didn’t happen until he’d passed 1,200 jumps. They can happen, he said, at any time which is why training is so important.

Parachute failure, he added, can also depend on a variety of factors, from weather to how a skydiver leaves an aircraft. Verret noted they debriefed after the jump to find out why it happened and how to prevent it. In this case, he said the reasons why the chute failed are inconclusive.

Capital City Skydiving is at the centre of multiple incidents that took place last year, that reminds people of the dangers in the sport.

An experienced solo skydiver made a hard landing at Woodwynn while videotaping a tandem jump in September 2017. He suffered serious injuries and would later lose his leg.

In June last year, a tandem jump went wrong and the skydivers landed in trees, necessitating a rescue. A Sooke man sustained head, hip and arm injuries in that incident and is reportedly suing Capital City Skydiving, according to media reports.

The sport is mostly self-regulated, but incidents like this are reported to the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association, which can make recommendations.

In August 2017, the District of Central Saanich, in response to the apparent frequency of skydiving accidents that year, asked Transport Canada to investigate. Transport Canada, however, does not regulate the sport — only the aircraft used in skydiving.

Just Posted

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Cruciferous vegetables have four petals on their flowers in the shape of a cross. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Yes, you can eat those bits of the plant too

These vegetables include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and kohlrabi

Can you dig it? Crofton In Bloom volunteers certainly can. From left: Trayci Lepp, Tony Lamley, Bonnie Lamley, Mary Patient and Jane Grueber. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Community pride grows from volunteer group’s beautification efforts

All ages contribute to Crofton In Bloom’s objectives

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: This mother is grinning and bearing it

News broke the other day that, after months in hibernation, Grouse Mountain’s… Continue reading

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Most Read