Skydiver remembers bouncing
Sun, 19 Aug 2012 11:59a.m.
A skydiver who cheated death when he crash-landed on soft wet earth says he remembers hitting the ground and bouncing.
Taupo father-of-two Liam Dunne told the Herald on Sunday from his Christchurch Hospital bed that if the ground hadn't been so yielding, every bone in his body would have been shattered.
"I would have been dead. I made some pretty big dents in the ground."
Mr Dunne, 35, said he felt extremely lucky despite his broken vertebra, which has been stabilised with rods and pins.
"It is just nice to be here talking, to be here at all. We are waiting for the bruising and swelling to go down to see what we are dealing with," he said.
The experienced skydiver had just finished filming a four-way group jump at the Good Vibes festival in Motueka on Thursday when things went wrong.
He tried to detach the wings from his camera suit but accidentally disengaged one brake, sending his parachute into a spin. He frantically tried to release the other brake to stabilise the spin but couldn't.
"The ground was rushing up to me and I was waiting for the reserve to open. It got to the stage where I thought 'it's too late - I'm a goner'."
The emergency parachute opened just 225m above the ground.
"I hit the ground and I bounced. I think my feet hit first and then my bum and then I was in a big old heap.
"I had a few broken ribs so I was finding it hard to breathe and my left leg was numb so I thought I had destroyed that."
A friend landed beside him and kept him alert until emergency services arrived.
Mr Dunne, who owns Skydiving clothing company Deepseed, will move to the Burwood Spinal Unit next week, and said he was itching to get back to his sport.
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