We’ve seen the horror stories of extreme sports gone wrong. A daredevil base jumper who flung himself off a 1,000-foot cliff in Italy realized something was wrong with his parachute pretty soon after he was free falling, and it seemed his story could only end one way. But after hitting rocks at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and landing on the ground, the man was alive and conscious when his friends reached him.
All this was caught on helmet cameras.
According to SWNS, 25-year-old Matthew Gough, who has been base jumping for several years with his previous 180 jumps going perfectly, only suffered minor injuries from the April 23 fall.
To SWNS, Gough said his parachute deployed slowly, twisting and inflating backwards. When he realized what was happening, he tried to avoid the rock face, but didn’t have enough time.
“When I impacted the first time I started spinning which made the situation worse, the parachute twisted even more before going into a dive and then spiralled towards the ground while I was smashing against the cliff,” he said.
He knew he had to slow his speed before hitting the ground and avoid nearby Lake Garda, because he believed both of his legs were broken and he wouldn’t be able to swim.
“I was trying everything I could to get some kind of control, then I looked down and saw around ten spikes which I believe were used to hang up wet suits,” he continued. “At that point I thought I was going to die so the last thing I shouted was ‘I’m going in’ which means I’m dead. I was trying to tell the guys at the top of the cliff what was happening to me.”
Instead of becoming injured on one of the spikes, it brushed the side of his face taking off his helmet and potentially slowing his fall at the last minute.
“When I hit the floor I was so shocked I was alive, I was thinking, I have seen this stuff on videos but now it is happening to me, I was in total shock that I was alive, that was when the pain set in,” he told SWNS.
Here’s the footage, which might be a little difficult for some to watch as Gough is screaming in terror as he’s falling down the cliff (Content warning: some strong language):
Although he said he feels “massively lucky” to be alive, he still plans on continuing to base jump.
“Some jumps I may not do, I may avoid the more technical ones but I will carry on jumping, my parents are desperate for me to stop, but I fully accept the dangers of this sport and don’t expect any sympathy,” Gough said.
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