The victim of Tuesday’s skydiving tragedy, 30-year-old Shane Price, of Mossy Point, was a highly accomplished skydiver who just last week performed his 7000th jump.
Mr Price was one of the lead instructors at the Skydive Oz school, and had worked there on and off for the past two years. He moved to Mossy Point just two months ago.
He had been part of the Australian skydiving team in recent years, and had been known to the Skydive Oz staff for several years.
“It is just a tragedy to lose a friend, because this company and the skydiving community are a close-knit group,” Skydive Oz chief instructor Paul Smith said.
Mr Smith said that Mr Price ran out of time to save himself.
“The reserve chute was accidentally deployed and with it and the main chute out, it resulted in a downplane,” Mr Smith said.
(A downplane occurs when two parachutes are inflated and both fly towards the ground. The descent rate under a downplane is very high.)
“In the event you have more time you can rectify the problem by using a handle to release one chute, but as he had come out at low altitude he ran out of height.”
He has little doubt that Mr Price died instantly.
“Absolutely,” he said.
“We saw the incident happen and we knew straight way he wouldn’t have survived.”
Mr Smith said that adventure sports involve risk, and that Mr Price was “very aware of this”.
“Shane was a hard nut and he would want us to get on with the job,” he said.
“People die in car accidents every day, but people still get into cars, so we will continue to skydive.”
Weather permitting, Skydive Oz will resume jumps today.