Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gardiner, Ulster County, New York: Empty parachute triggers skydiving scare

GARDINER – Emergency responders had a scare Wednesday when a parachute landed without a skydiver near the Skydive the Ranch complex.

But it turned out, the skydiving center said, the skydiver had jettisoned his main parachute and landed safely with his emergency chute.

State police and Gardiner Fire Department personnel, fearing the worst, responded to a location on Bevier Road, about five miles west of Skydive the Ranch in the Town of Gardiner, about 12:30 p.m., after someone reported the parachute.

One of the co-owners of Skydive the Ranch said the skydiver had released the malfunctioning chute about 4,000 feet up and landed safely.

“People around here see so many parachutes open, they know what a good, functioning parachute looks like,” said Joseph Richards, one of the co-owners of Skydive the Ranch.

“When they saw a parachute that wasn’t working coming out of the sky, they jumped to conclusions. They were just trying to be a good citizen.”

Richards said it happens “once or twice a week” that a skydiver has to switch to a backup chute.

“It’s not that uncommon that main chutes malfunction, with all the skydiving we do,” Richards said.

Original article can be found here ➤

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