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Famed Extreme Athlete Dies in BASE Jumping Wingsuit Accident

A search-and-rescue mission began overnight when the jumpers' spotter lost contact with them.

Dean Potter jumping with a wingsuit in 2008 at the Drusenfluh, Switzerland. (Image source: Beat Kammerlander/Barcroft USA/Getty Images)

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Extreme athlete Dean Potter and another man have died in a BASE jumping accident, according to a Yosemite National Park spokesman.

Dean Potter carries out the first ever free solo climb of the Eiger with parachute in August 2008 in Switzerland. (Image source: Beat Kammerlander/Barcroft USA/Getty Images)

Potter and Graham Hunt died late Saturday after attempting a wingsuit flight from a 7,500-foot promontory called Taft Point, the spokesman said.

Dean Potter jumping with a wingsuit in 2008 at the Drusenfluh, Switzerland. (Image source: Beat Kammerlander/Barcroft USA/Getty Images)

A search-and-rescue mission began overnight when the jumpers' spotter lost contact with them. Crews found their bodies Sunday in the Yosemite Valley. No parachutes had been deployed.

Potter is renowned for his bold and sometimes rogue climbs and BASE jumps, in which he would parachute from a fixed structure or cliff. BASE jumping is illegal in Yosemite.

Potter was 43. He completed solo ascents and tightrope walks across some of the world's most famous rocks, and recently appeared in a film BASE jumping with his dog.

Here's a clip of Potter climbing cliffs and flying with his wingsuit, via National Geographic:

Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter

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