Solo skydiver's fatal error at Caloundra
UPDATE: FAMILIES enjoying a day at the beach watched in horror as a skydiver fell to his death in front of them at Caloundra.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, was an experienced solo "sport skydiver" who was jumping in conjunction with a group of tandem skydivers over the popular Kings Beach yesterday morning.
Witnesses said he appeared to misjudge the speed of his landing and hit the ground heavily. Off duty nurses came quickly to his aid but he died at the scene.
The man was jumping with local operator Sunshine Coast Skydivers and is believed to have been a regular with the company.
A Brisbane couple visiting the beach to celebrate a birthday said they were only a few metres away from where the man landed.
They were first on the scene with two registered nurses who were walking by.
"We just saw this guy coming in too hot with his parachute open, he was trying to level himself out but when he went to come in he landed face first," the woman said.
"There were also a few trained nurses on the beach as well but he wasn't in a good way."
The couple helped get the parachutists' gear off and gave him CPR before the surf lifesavers took over.
Police and ambulance crews arrived on the scene within 30 minutes but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
"He was just not responding to anything when the ambulance officers got here - they tried all they could," the woman said.
"There was an 'X' out and it was all fenced off, so he had landed in the right spot. He just must have misjudged his landing.
"The boys that came down from the surf lifesaving club were so strong and they did absolutely everything that they could.
"So did the woman who was on the phone to the ambulance officers she did really well and kept calm."
Detective Sergent Daniel Purdie said police investigations were being helped by video of the tragedy.
"There was a witness that has captured it all on video and that has been sent in to aid the investigation," he said.
"At this stage what we know is that he was an experienced jumper and it appears that he experienced some difficulties in the final stages of his landing that will be investigated."
The Sunshine Coast Forensic Crash unit will be handling the investigation with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Australian Parachute Federation.
Sunshine Coast Skydivers last night issued a statement saying they were mourning the loss of a "member of the skydiving fraternity".
"As skydivers, we are all aware of the danger involved in our chosen sport and are aware that accidents can happen.
"Today we all mourn for our fellow skydiver and our thoughts and deep sympathy are with family and friends."
The company said it would re-open for business this morning.
SATURDAY 3PM: A PARACHUTIST has fallen to his death on a popular Caloundra beach.
The man believed to be in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance officers about 11.15am.
Police investigations are continuing into the King's Beach accident.