Skydiver seriously hurt in fall

A skydiver who suffered serious injuries when his main parachute didn't work is a veteran of the sport, with more than 1000 jumps under his belt.

The 35-year-old Taupo man was flown to Nelson Hospital with multiple injuries, including possible back injuries, after he landed heavily on grass at Motueka aerodrome this afternoon.

He was skydiving above the aerodrome when his main parachute failed to work properly because of a steering fault, said Skydive Abel Tasman owner Stuart Bean.

The skydiver had an "uneventful freefall'' but after his parachute inflated he wasn't able to steer it, he said.

He cut away from the main chute and then opened his reserve shute. It opened only 230m above the ground so didn't have time to fully develop, causing the man to land hard, said Mr Bean.

Earlier reports that the reserve shute didn't open were "not entirely correct", he said.

The man was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital.

The issue with the main chute was very uncommon, and the company would carry out an investigation to find out what happened, said Mr Bean.

The injured man had travelled from his home in Taupo to Motueka to take part in the 11th annual Good Vibes skydiving festival, being held until Sunday.

 

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