Fine for jumper in Table Mountain fall

2012-01-17 07:38

A base jumper, who was severely injured when he crashed on Table Mountain, will be fined for the illegal jump.

American Jeb Corliss (35), who is in intensive care in a Cape Town hospital, has completed more than 1 000 successful base jumps around the world.

They include jumps from the Eiffel Tower, in France; the Golden Gate Bridge, in the United States; Angel Falls in Venezuela; and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

Table Mountain National Park spokesperson Merle Collins said Corliss did not have permission to do yesterday’s jump, Cape Times reports.

“The danger associated with base jumping does not allow us to issue permits,” she said.

“He did not have permission. We will definitely fine him and possibly press charges,” she said.

Collins said base jumping could negatively affect mountain safety.

She had already received calls from would-be jumpers requesting permits.

She said a man had phoned her asking how Corliss had got a permit.

“He said he had applied for one and was denied, so he couldn’t understand why Corliss was allowed to jump,” Collins said.

“He was absolutely not allowed to jump. It is worrying to me because people may think they can do this now without permits.

“He is very, very lucky to have his life.”

From his hospital bed in the intensive care unit at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital Corliss said: “I feel better than I’ve ever felt.”

He had been jumping with fellow American adventurer Joby Ogwyn, who became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest at the age of 24.

While attempting the Table Mountain jump, Corliss clipped a rock and tumbled 60m into Contour Path.

Base jumpers freefall until, just before landing, they open their parachutes.

Base is an acronym for the surfaces from which jumpers launch: building, antenna, span (bridge) and earth.

Ogwyn, who waited for Corliss at the base of the mountain after the fall, said he was not sure what had caused the accident.

“It could have been a strange gust of wind. It could have been that he got too close to the mountain,” he said.

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