|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|22/12/2001||Celina, OH||LAND||29||467||N/N|| ||#64642|
|Description: Details are unclear, but it appears that after a CRW skydive, a pair of jumpers were unable to avoid landing in a large lake located near the DZ. Boaters retrieved one of the jumpers almost immediately, but were unable to reach the other before he went under. He had cutaway his parachute, and was not entangled in it.|
|Lessons:A better spot or flotation equipment might have made a difference here.|
|USPA Description: Two jumpers were practicing canopy formation, this jumper and another reported to have 80 jumps. The pair exited at 9,500 feet in strong winds but well upwind of the drop zone. They headed downwind toward the planned landing area while they practiced canopy docking. At some point, they turned into wind, but the winds were strong enough to push them backward past the drop zone and over a lake.
Accoriding to the report, the more experienced jumper could have made dry land but followed the newer jumper into the lake, where the water temperature was 38 to 40 degrees. A boat picked up the less experienced jumper first, and the other drowned before help arrived.
|USPA Conclusions:This jump took place in winter, with cold temperatures and strong winds. The previous canopy formation experience of the jumper who died was not reported; however, it was the first canopy formation jump for the other jumper.
The less-experienced jumper survived, in part because he was wearing a wet-suit. He had not planned a water landing but wore the suit as protection against the frigid air temperatures at altitude. Besides providing some flotation, the suit protected him against the cold water, and rescuers reached him almost immediately.
The other jumper, who had returned to the sport after a long layoff, wore more conventional clothing with no additional flotation gear. The water was cold enough that hypothermia would have made it difficult for him to survive more than a few minutes.
When making canopy formation jumps, planning must include knowing the winds aloft at the various altitudes, adjusting the spot accordingly and observing the position over the ground throughout the decent. Any jumper under canopy must continuously asses progress toward the available safe landing areas.
It is not uncommon for canopy formation jumpers to get distracted and fly to far away from the drop zone and return. Jumpers new to the discipline might be especially prone to making this mistake.
All jumpers should wear flotation gear whenever there is the possibility of landing in water.