Green Room

Amazing: Skydivers rescue unconscious colleague, captured on video

posted at 12:08 pm on January 31, 2014 by

What happens when skydivers collide and get injured? In one case, the other skydivers recognize the problem, and rescue their unconscious teammate. It makes for an amazing video (via NPR):

James Lee, 25 was taking part in a jump in Wiltshire when just seconds after leaping from the plane he was hit on the back of the head by another skydiver.

The blow knocked him out and sent him hurtling towards the ground uncontrollably.

Luckily two other skydivers noticed something was wrong and chased after their unconscious colleague.

After realising he was unresponsive the two men managed to roll James into a more stable position and deploy his parachute for a safe landing.

It wasn’t until James was under the canopy that he began to regain consciousness, he landed safely on the ground with no memory of the drama that had unfolded seconds earlier.

Lee has no plans to give up skydiving. He should stick with his friends, too … except for the one who hit him in the first place, of course.

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Comments

I’ve never skydived before but have had a couple of scuba diving dives go disastrously wrong. It’s an amazing experience when the group you’re with recognizes something’s wrong and your training kicks in and people come through to save the day.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 12:17 PM

It wasn’t until James was under the canopy that he began to regain consciousness

Then why did his GoPro pan directly from rescuer to rescuer before they pulled his ripcord?

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Then why did his GoPro pan directly from rescuer to rescuer before they pulled his ripcord?

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

His head was lolling. An unconscious body is an extremely limp body.

NotCoach on January 31, 2014 at 12:31 PM

His head was lolling. An unconscious body is an extremely limp body.

NotCoach on January 31, 2014 at 12:31 PM

And his rescuers were clearly trying to see his eyes to determine if he was responsive.

Ed Morrissey on January 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Then why did his GoPro pan directly from rescuer to rescuer before they pulled his ripcord?

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

False Flag… uh… I mean, False Parachute? hehe

WordsMatter on January 31, 2014 at 12:38 PM

NotCoach on January 31, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Yep, but it kinda looks like he regained consciousness before they pulled the cord. Maybe the rescuers’ GoPros would corroborate that. Regardless, just glad they’re all OK.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Then why did his GoPro pan directly from rescuer to rescuer before they pulled his ripcord?

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Divine intervention!

His head was lolling. An unconscious body is an extremely limp body.

NotCoach on January 31, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Or maybe this.

If real, kudos to the guys who recognized the situation and reacted effectively.

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Ed Morrissey on January 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

What if one of the rescuers was the guy who KO’d him? Who buys the first round at the pub?

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Amazing: Skydivers rescue unconscious colleague, captured on video

…bet you…they were Republicans…and conservative!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

…bet you…they were Republicans…and conservative!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

…bet you…they were Republicans…and conservative!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Of course.

What Democrat would jump out of a plane and take such risks?

Bitter Clinger on January 31, 2014 at 1:48 PM

He turns directly toward the first rescuer to approach and keeps his head in that direction. Then he turns toward the second rescuer as he approaches. Neither was close enough to have their hands on his head at the time they were approaching and his head wasn’t rolling around. He either had some level of consciousness, it’s all a complete coincidence or this is fake. There’s a reason why everyone is noticing this, I certainly didn’t read the comments before viewing the video.

Long Legged MacDaddy on January 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

While I applaud his skydiving mates quick action and it’s never easy to catch an unstable body in freefall, I’d be extremely surprised that he didn’t have an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) installed. There are quite a few drop zones that do not allow you to jump without one these days. However, as good as they are, AADs don’t care whether you are in a stable position when they activate. A parachute deployment while unstable can often be ugly, even fatal.

RedinPDRM on January 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

You know, in many ways, this is the story of Obama.
[Stolen from Ace]

BJ* on January 31, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Having skydives before and packed FF chutes, it looks as though it was a genuine video. If you watch the video when he initially goes unconscious, he is unstable and the camera is all over the place. It doesn’t really get stable enough until the others get to him. The sign that the one gives him (hang loose surfer sign) is one given by skydivers for a nonverbal OK. Since he didn’t respond, they knew something was wrong.

As Redin points out, he did have an AAD attached to his reserve which would have activated under a predetermined altitude, but if he was on his back when he opened like he was when they got to him, he most likely would have been tangled in his chute instead of it deploying correctly and burning in.

Patriot Vet on January 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

800+ times myself.

This is a pretty incredible thing, even if it’s difficult to tell from the video. He may have had some small level of conciousness, but his arms looked pretty limp.

A skydiver can vary their fall rate from around 120 to upwards of 180 mph depending on the type of jump, so someone losing control, even for a second, can lead to an extremely high impact.

BadgerHawk on January 31, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent

I did – all through college. Then I got a mortgage, and a wife, and damn I still miss it.

Wander on January 31, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Unrelated, but new high-clarity HD vid out today of the dude who jumped from 128,000 feet last year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYw4meRWGd4#t=0

JetBoy on January 31, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Man that gives me the willies.

p0s3r on January 31, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Absolutely!

But I still hate night jumps.

Solaratov on January 31, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Don’t know why this is in the news now, it happened last July.

This article makes it sound like he was “out” until after his chute was deployed, but that’s not the case. He started to come around just after the two guys docked on him, but he was still pretty “out of it” at that point.

You can see a longer version of the video here with a description of the event by the jumper himself.

climbnjump on January 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Yes, we do.

Because it is a heck of a lot safer than jumping out of a perfectly BAD airplane.

climbnjump on January 31, 2014 at 6:21 PM

You, sir, are a steely-eyed missile man.

bigjack on January 31, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Do conservatives jump out of perfectly good airplanes?

DarkCurrent on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Only if the door is open and the light is green

(I have been waiting for that question, if you cannot already tell)

iconoclast on February 1, 2014 at 3:25 AM

While I applaud his skydiving mates quick action and it’s never easy to catch an unstable body in freefall, I’d be extremely surprised that he didn’t have an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) installed. There are quite a few drop zones that do not allow you to jump without one these days. However, as good as they are, AADs don’t care whether you are in a stable position when they activate. A parachute deployment while unstable can often be ugly, even fatal.

Yep. Probably just as ugly and fatal if the parachute didn’t deploy.

HiJack on February 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM


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