Paratrooper has lucky escape in fierce Durban winds
Matthew Savides | 2017-02-18 15:33:30.0
Image by: Thuli Dlamini
A Defence Force paratrooper had a lucky escape on Saturday after his main parachute failed in strong winds.
The military member was in Durban as part of pre-event demonstrations ahead of Armed Forces Day on Tuesday. During one of the manoeuvres his chute got caught up in strong winds.
Onlookers at the beach said the paratroopers were blown from Addington Beach‚ on the southern end of the beachfront‚ towards the harbour. Many feared the worst.
Paratrooper has lucky escape in fierce Durban winds. Picture by Thuli Dlamini
Jos Walker‚ who was at the beach at the time of the incident‚ said: “The wind blew them from in front of Addington over the Durban Undersea Club towards the Spinnaker buildings and other buildings by the canal. Lost sight of them there. Looked horrible for everyone‚ especially the one guy. I can’t actually believe he’s ok.
“The whole beach was cheering as they jumped and then just went quiet as we all watched. Was expecting some guy to dive after him ‘Point Break’ style. But that’s not quite real life. Just saw guys trying to follow his path‚ but wind was making it really hard. Everyone on the beach was in shock.”
But‚ fortunately‚ the man was okay.
“The guy‚ when he had the problem‚ opened his reserve chute. There was no one injured. He landed safe‚” said Brigadier-General Mafe Mgobozi.
Also on Saturday‚ the SANDF performed two helicopter simulation drills – one a rescue operation and the other the simultaneous airlifting of six soldiers from the roof of the Gooderson Beach Hotel in the CBD.