|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|23/10/1998||Pahokee, FL||LAND||50||13||?/?|| || |
|Description: The deceased made a solo skydive (an AFF Level 8 - he had passed his Level 7 earlier in the day) from 5000, openning normally. He landed in Lake Okechobee and drowned. He was jumping a a 260, student rig. He was out at 5,000 and according to a witness/rigger at the school, he was long and south of the airport. Mike for unknown reasons turned west and ran with the wind ending up a half to three quarters of a mile over the lake. It is believed that he might of tried to turn into the wind at the last second and hit the water. The water was only 4-6' deep. He was found with loosened shoulder [sic] straps and leg straps, indicating he may have been prepared for a water landing.
The body was recovered, afloat, less than two hours after landing, approximately 3/4 of a mile from shore. It is not clear if he could have made it to shore, or if he tried to inflate the floatation device which was attached to his rig. Ground winds were reported to be 12-14mph at jump time, and were measured to be 17-22mph (one report says "26mph") during the rescue.
|Lessons:Better choice of exit points, a floation device, and perhaps a more prudent evaluation of the winds might have made a difference in this incident. Lack of experience in high winds may have contributed to him getting farther out over the water than he could return from. Additionally, a low turn before landing could have resulted in loss of conciousness when hitting the water, which might have contributed to drowning in such relatively shallow water.|