An experienced skydiver died during a jump in New Jersey on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Cross Keys Skydive said the man—who has not been named—had hundreds of completed jumps to his name.
Nadia Mazure said in a statement: “He had over 700 jumps to his credit and had been skydiving for over a decade.”
“His parachute was deployed at normal altitude upon exiting the airplane and appeared to be fully inflated. All further details are pending investigation.”
Mazure continued: “Skydive Cross Keys’ staff and community are deeply saddened by the loss of a loved and respected member of our community.”
The man died during the jump at about 1:25 p.m. The specific injuries he sustained have not been made public.
Despite the latest tragedy, according to the United States Parachute Association (USPA), skydiving has become increasingly safe since the 1970s.
Figures show that in 2021 there were 10 deaths as a result of skydiving, which amounts to 0.28 deaths per 100,000 jumps during that year.
Residents of Monroe Township, southwest of New York City, witnessed the fall and told ABC6 that it appeared the skydiver was unconscious as he descended.
Larry Guagenti said: “He was coming down and he was swirling down, it almost looked like he wasn’t awake.”
Guagenti added that when the skydiver hit the ground he and a neighbor ran over to help but there was nothing they could do.
He said: “Debbie and I, we ran over there, she’s a nurse and she was trying to find some vitals and there was no vitals to be found.”
Carol Miller told ABC6 that skydiving is popular in the area, adding: “It’s constant, they’re just constantly jumping. As soon as the plane goes back it picks up more.”
The USPA states that each year more than 500,000 people skydive across the country and that roughly 4 million jumps are made at more than 230 USPA-affiliated centers in the U.S.
Nevertheless, the activity is not without danger. Earlier this year, Heather Glasgow, 44, from Poteau, close to the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, died while on a solo skydive in the Sooner State.
Sallisaw police said she had sustained injuries while taking part in the skydive at the City of Sallisaw Airport on Saturday, February 18.
Officers said Glasgow “struck the ground” following an unknown issue that occurred during the skydive.
That many jumps, even fewer, puts the odds against himself..