From today's Independent : 'I was waiting for a signal,' says skydiver who forgot to pull the cord – and lived
The veteran skydiver from Staffordshire had already made more than 2,500 jumps. He was calm and fully prepared for the astonishing thrill that comes with hurtling towards the ground, safe in the knowledge that his parachute would help him land safely.
Except this time there was one small problem. While he was concentrating on filming, his dive partner was supposed to be keeping a close eye on the rapidly approaching ground. But as the crucial moment approached the signal from his friend to draw his parachute failed to get through and Mr Boole slammed into the snow covered rocks at 100mph.
Remarkably, despite a broken back, a punctured lung and several broken ribs, the 31–year–old survived his ordeal. Recuperating at his home in Tamworth, Staffordshire, he recalled the moment he realised he had survived. "What went through my mind was my wife and daughter," he said. "I really thought I was going to die."
A self–confessed adrenaline junkie, Mr Boole had flown to eastern Russia to film a documentary about one of the most extreme forms of sky diving – "wingsuit base jumping".
Unlike standard dives, where jumpers release their parachutes far above the ground and float gently down to earth, Mr Boole prefers the base jumper ethos, where practitioners open their chute at the last minute to maximise their freefall time. He was also wearing a wingsuit – a specially designed bodysuit which allows jumpers to "fly" as they hurtle towards earth. In the right conditions, for every metre that a jumper falls while wearing a wingsuit they are also able to travel up to three metres forward.