Bad week for extreme sports enthusiastsMay 5, 2008
Three deaths in the past few days have emphasised the need for extreme caution and understanding of the dangers and safety measures required if you are going to participate in extreme sports.
Emily Jordan, 21, was drowned in rapids in the Kawarau river gorge on Tuesday when she became trapped between rocks. Guides struggled to free her for 20 minutes before attempting resuscitation on the banks of the river near Queens-town on New Zealand’s South Island.The father of the British backpacker called for companies that offer extreme sports to review whether they were pushing the limits of danger too far.
In Andalucia, Southern Spain a British Army officer has been killed in a paragliding accident during an adventure training exercise in southern Spain.Major Alexander Blake, 35, who was secretary of the Army Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, died when he lost control of his paragliding canopy and smashed into a tree at high speed, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Granada.
The tragedy is thought to have happened as he attempted a risky manoeuvre known as a spiral dive to lose height rapidly.
Meanwhile the death of a 40 year old woman who was scuba diving in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida has been reported.The woman, whose name was not released, died at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard said. People from the dive boat called the Coast Guard to follow them to shore after the woman came back from a dive unresponsive. Coast guard officials said it was unclear what had led to her death but the woman had apparently started to have difficulty after just ten minutes into the dive.
These tragedies underscore the dangers in these sports – please take every precaution possible but I suspect that by definition the extremities of these activities will continue to lead to accidents.