A recreational speed diver is in Dunedin Hospital awaiting
surgery for suspected spinal injuries after a jump from a
cliff near Kelvin Heights in Queenstown on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old man had finished work for the day at NZONE
Skydive before meeting up with four of his speed diving
friends for the evening. It has not been confirmed whether
the other three are employed by NZONE.
Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, said the
30-year-old was the first of the four to jump and when his
parachute become twisted he fell, landing at Jardine Park,
between Kelvin Heights and Jacks Point Golf course, about
St John operations team manager Kelvin Perriman said the man
had moderate spinal injuries and needed to be assessed at
NZONE business development manager Derek Melnick confirmed
the man was an employee of the company. He stressed the speed
jumping was a recreational sport and was ''completely
unrelated'' to skydiving or any other NZONE activities.
Speed skydiving is a type of skydiving in which the goal is
to achieve and maintain the highest possible terminal
velocity while the flyer gets as close to the ground as
Flyers do not use moving aircraft and usually jump off a
cliff to get the height needed.
It was developed in the last few years and has been described
as the world's fastest non-motorised sport.