This Terrifying Video Captures a Dramatic Rescue of a Skydiver Having a Seizure
“Possibly the scariest moment of my life,” reads the caption under the viral video posted on YouTube of a man suffering from a seizure while free falling.
Christopher Jones, a 22-year-old Australian, suffered a seizure during a skydiving training course on November 14, 2014 at around 9,000 ft. His instructor, who had to make two attempts to deploy Jones’ parachute, caught the rescue on video.
Jones' lifelong dream of becoming a pilot was dashed when he was diagnosed with epilepsy. After going four years without a seizure, he decided to try skydiving to experience the same feeling pilots do, according to Australia's ABC News.
"I've always wanted to have the feeling of flight, so I just thought considering I can't fly a plane due to my condition, I thought I'd give it a go," Jones said.
During the skydive in the video below, the fun jump quickly turned scary when instructor Sheldon McFarlane noticed Jones roll onto his back. The video shows McFarlane trying to approach Jones to grab his ripcord, but he fails, and Jones plummets further toward the earth. On McFarlane's second try, he successfully deploys the chute.
McFarlane says Jones would have landed safely even if he hadn't reached the ripcord. Jones was equipped with an automatic activation device that would have deployed the parachute once he reached a lower altitude.
"At no time was I worried he was going to hit the ground without a parachute, but given the circumstances and where we were I thought it would be better to get him under parachute earlier than later," McFarlane told ABC News. "As far as difficult, yeah, it was OK. I got him."