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Jumper thankful

EDITOR, On May 12 I made a wingsuit base jump from the Chief at Squamish which did not go as planned.


On May 12 I made a wingsuit base jump from the Chief at Squamish which did not go as planned. I had a good exit and made a slight right turn which continued going further than I wanted, running out of time and altitude to make a left turn to avoid hitting the wall, I successfully deployed my parachute; however, I was too low to make it to my intended landing area and landed in the trees near the base of the wall. Upon entering the trees it momentarily stopped my forward movement as the canopy hung up in the tops of the trees, and then the branches broke, dropping me 40 to 50 feet to the sloping terrain below. Other than minor scrapes and bruises I had considerable pain in my lower back. Some nearby climbers heard my yells for help and came to assist. When Squamish Search and Rescue arrived, I asked to be carried out by hand on the backboard. The director of the rescue operation insisted that an extraction by helicopter be used due to the rugged terrain. I respected his opinion.

Working as a helicopter pilot for the last 23 years I understand the operational cost of such a mission and plan on making a reasonable donation to Squamish Search and Rescue. I have flown many people by longline in my career but this is the first time that I was the passenger. Being a resident of the lower 48 and not having insurance that covers this incident, I'm responsible for all my medical expenses, which will be considerable. I have two compressed vertebra which hopefully will not need surgery.

I wanted to thank Squamish Search and Rescue, the climbers, friends, staff of Squamish hospital and Lions Gate Hospital that helped me out that day. Everyone acted in a very professional manner and did a great job of getting me out of there safely.

Bill Beck

Shelton, Wash.

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