Injured skydiver had a harder landing than expected - parachute club

2015-10-06 08:01
Injured first-time skydiver Riana Burger during her tandem jump. (Netwerk24)

Injured first-time skydiver Riana Burger during her tandem jump. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The first-time skydiver who broke her leg in Bloemfontein at the weekend had a harder and faster landing than expected, the parachute club involved said on Monday.

Skydive Central chief instructor Chris de Jager said the landing, however, was not abnormally hard or extreme.

The woman had also not been dragged for several metres through the field upon landing, as previously reported, he said.

"That is nonsense. It was a standard normal tandem jump, which means she was hooked up to the instructor. Just before landing, on the final approach, there was a sudden wind and the parachute took a bit of a dip," said De Jager.

Tandem instructors asked jumpers to lift their legs so they could slide in for landing, he added.

"Her foot must have caught a tuft of grass and on landing, they rolled over her leg and she broke her leg. It’s nothing serious. It's like someone walking down the stairs, slipping and breaking something. It was just an accident."

He said they had done more than 10 000 jumps since January and the woman was the first person to be hurt at the club this year. The woman involved had apparently referred all media queries to the club.

Netwerk24 identified the woman as 42-year-old personal assistant Riana Burger.

Her husband Braam was quoted as saying they were not angry and acknowledged that skydiving was a dangerous sport.

In a statement at the time, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said a report from the scene indicated that the woman was "dragged along the ground for some distance” when she landed.

"Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene and found the female lying on the ground in a serious condition.

"After medics stabilised her injuries and immobilised her on a trauma board, they transported her to a local hospital.”

De Jager said they had viewed footage of the incident to confirm what had happened.

A copy of the video was also sent to the professional body that governs all parachuting activities in South Africa.

Read more on:    netcare 911  |  bloemfontein  |  accidents

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