CEO dies in 'fluke' paragliding accident at God's Window just days before his birthday

2019-06-21 20:36
Chris Hersov doing what he loved. (Supplied)

Chris Hersov doing what he loved. (Supplied)

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The CEO of one of the biggest skills training companies in South Africa, fell to his death while paragliding in Mpumalanga this week.

While the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (SAHPA) is gathering details on what happened as part of its investigation, Chris Hersov's death has shocked the fraternity.

His wife, Bianca, shared on Facebook that her soulmate had died "in a fluke paragliding accident" on Tuesday at God's Window.

"I was truly blessed to be married to the most honourably [sic] man I ever met and look forward to celebrate and honour his life with you all," she said.

Hersov headed up Arc Skills in Johannesburg.

The father of two died just days before his 56th birthday while in Mpumalanga for the 2019 Barberton Paragliding Nationals.

A day before the incident, he had shared a photo of competitors and blue skies, saying how excited he was to compete in that competition for the first time.

"Daunting, but there is much to learn here from these guys," he wrote on Facebook.

On Friday, SAHPA spokesperson Ronnie Beukes said the competition was cancelled on the day of the incident and the group wanted to fly to God's Window.

However, Hersov and another man ended up being the only ones to do so.

The Lowvelder reported that according to preliminary investigations, a portion of Hersov's glider folded inward, leading him into a spin.

Beukes said it was too early to speculate.

"We are taking this very seriously and the committee will be meeting next week."

They were in the process of speaking with eyewitnesses and inspecting the equipment.

Beukes said they wanted to figure out what went wrong and how they could avoid similar incidents in the future.

It is understood that Hersov's body was in Nelspruit and would be flown to Pretoria next week.

Friends, colleagues and relatives shared their fondest memories of Hersov on social media, describing him as an enthusiastic athlete who lived life to the fullest.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe, confirmed they had an opened an inquest.

Hersov's life will be celebrated at St Andrews School on Monday afternoon, on what would have been his birthday.

His wife shared: "Because Chris' standard reply to my question 'What do you want for your birthday?' always was 'Something that flies', please bring a few helium-filled balloons to the service to be released after the service to wish him on his way to the place where flying is forever possible."

Read more on:    mpumalanga  |  accidents
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