The skydiver was injured while taking a video of a different jumper. (File Photo)

Skydiver crashes in Saanichton field while shooting video

UPDATE: One man has been sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

A skydiver was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Monday afternoon in Saanichton while shooting a video of a tandem jump for a local skydiving company.

Central Saanich Police received a call at 1:15 p.m after the skydiver crashed into a field at Woodwynn Farms, and although his chute was open, he made a hard landing after a apparent sudden wind shift when he neared the ground.

Capital City Skydiving owner Bob Verret says his employee, an experienced skydiver with more than 300 jumps, made a “severely hard landing” and injured his ankle. Paramedics were called, he said, and the man was taken to hospital, where he remained as of Tuesday morning.

Verret confirmed the skydiver was taking video of a tandem jump at the time. The process is, he said, for one skydiver to video the others. Then, when the tandem jumpers open their chute, the one taking the video descends further, opens their chute and gets to the ground before the others, in order to video the landing.

“This is unfortunate,” Verret said. “Everybody feels bad.”

Verret said the video of the jump is being looked at in an investigation of the incident. He said he’s informed the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association of the incident and will make recommendations to try to prevent it from happening again.

The police, too, are investigating, Verret confirmed. They have taken the skydiver’s chute to inspect the equipment to see if that was a factor, although Verret said the equipment was in good working order.

The 20 to 30-year-old male skydiver is said to be experienced with over 300 jumps already under his belt.

“He hit too hard,” Verret said. “We want to find out if there was a miscalculation of altitude … we’ll review the video and come up with a cause and make recommendations for preventative measures.”

This is the third parachuting incident so far this year, according to police, which may be more than last year. The last one involved a tandem jump that went wrong and sent two skydivers into trees, where they had to be rescued.

Police say there will be an investigation with WorkSafe BC and Transport Canada.

— with files from Steven Heywood, Peninsula News Review

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