Skydiver Survives 13,000-Foot Fall; Gerardo Flores Plunge Caught On Tape [VIDEO]
A skydiver survived a 13,000-foot fall and, perhaps more importantly, so did his camera. Gerardo Flores was using a GoPro camera to document his 30th skydiving attempt and instead of recording his triumph, it recorded how the lucky skydiver survived a 13,000-foot fall. Here's the video:
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Flores is a trained skydiver and a graduate of the Skydive Monterey Bay School, but no amount of training can prepare a skydiver to survive a 13,000-foot fall. The jump was going as planned for Flores until his parachute malfunctioned.
"It just exploded. It just yanked me to the side. Something went wrong. One hundred things go through your mind. You are never supposed to open above 6,000 feet," he told KPIX.
What exactly happened to Flores is a matter of debate. Skydive Monterey Bay told the station that Flores' gear was "in proper working order" and that "improper use by the jumper" caused of the accident. But an FAA report said that a "critical Velcro closing flap on the equipment was completely worn."
Inspectors also noted suspension lines were broken, the rigging had knots in it and "these lines should've been replaced prior to allowing this parachute to be placed in service."
Although the skydiver survived the 13,000-foot fall he did not walk away unscathed. He was unconscious for two weeks, suffered several broken ribs and a lacerated tongue. When he woke up in the hospital a friend told him "the FAA said you are the luckiest man I ever met."
Whoever said that was either being very literal or had never heard of Joan Murray. On Sept. 25, 1999, the Charlotte, N.C., bank exec jumped from a plane at 14,500 feet and couldn't get her main chute to deploy. Her reserve chute opened 700 feet from the ground, but in her confusion she spun out of control, causing the chute to deflate. Her body hurtled toward the ground at more than 80 mph.
Then she landed on a mound of fire ants. This, surprisingly, was the luckiest thing that happened to her that day. The fire ants stung her more than 200 times, but the toxins caused her body to release a surge of adrenaline and doctors credit the stings with keeping her alive.
So if you're a skydiver who survives a 13,000-foot fall, you can consider yourself lucky. Until you meet Joan Murray.
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