Saturday, 6 May 2017

THAILAND: British Client Of Thai Sky Adventures Diving Centre Plunges To Death

There was not a failure of safety standards at a skydiving centre near Pattaya where a British man tragically died, a source close to the matter has told Thaivisa.

Popular expat James McConnell, 69, plunged to his death on Thursday while taking part in a skydive at the Thai Sky Adventures diving centre.

However, it is believed that McConnell suffered a heart attack soon after jumping from the plane, and this, rather than a failure of safety, was what resulted in his death, Thaivisa understands.

McConnell, who has more than 40 years diving experience had been doing what is known as a 5 way formation skydive.

As is standard during the formation, divers break off at 5,000ft before deploying their parachute at 3,500ft.

Eyewitnesses said McConnell appeared to lose consciousness, causing him to drift onto his back.

McConnell then made no attempt to deploy his parachute at 3,500ft. However, he did manage to pull his reserve chute moments later.

McConnell then failed to release his steering toggles and consequently drifted with the wind into the water, the source told Thaivisa.

Although the response from people on the ground and emergency services was immediate, CPR failed to revive McConnell and was pronounced dead a short time later in hospital.

An investigation remains underway but because safety has not been breached, Thai Sky Adventures will be open again on Saturday.

McConnell was a much loved member of the skydiving community in Pattaya and people who knew him are still trying to come to terms with his tragic death, the source told Thaivisa.