Video Captures Skydiver Suffering Seizure During Free Fall

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Video recently posted on YouTube shows a skydiver suffering from a seizure during a free fall in Australia in what he described as a near death experience.

In the video, which was posted by the username Nomadic Adrenaline on Sunday, two men fall from a plane in what seems to begin as a typical skydive jump.

A body camera on the “jumpmaster” shows the second man turning onto his back during a free fall and beginning to shake violently while in midair.

The “jumpmaster,” as he is described in the video’s description, caught the man after about 30 seconds and deployed his parachute.

The man who had a seizure described it as “possibly the scariest moment of my life,” in the video’s description, and said the seizure occurred at around 9,000 feet on Nov. 14, 2014.

“I then spend the next 30 seconds in free fall unconscious. Thankfully my jumpmaster manages to pull my ripcord at around 4,000 (feet). I become conscious at 3,000 (feet) and land safely back to the ground,” he stated on Youtube.

Nearly 4 million people had viewed the video as of Monday morning.

Christopher Jones, a 22-year-old from Australia, was identified as the man suffering a seizure in the video, according to the state-owned Australian Broadcast Corporation's news division.

Jones has epilepsy, but had not experienced a seizure for four years prior to the November incident and a doctor was believed to have given him permission to skydive, ABC reported.

“Jumpmaster” Sheldon McFarlane said Jones, a skydiving student at the time, may have experienced “sensory overload,” triggering the seizure.

McFarlane also said that although he deployed Jones’ parachute, it would have automatically deployed without his aid, ABC reported.

“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 said.

The dramatic footage likely looked worse than it was because the company has safety mechanisms in place for such events, ABC reported WA Skydiving Academy business manager and chief instructor Robin O’Neill said.

The safety measures include two computers and automatic activation devices working together to deploy a main chute or reserve chute.

“So if Sheldon … had failed to get onboard when he saw there was no response from Christopher … then if the computers had done their job, the main would have fired, and if that failed to activate the reserve (chute) would have fire automatically as well,” ABC reported O’Neill said.

Jones later said he trusted the safety devices would have worked if tested.

“I think I’m fairly lucky, but the emergencies (automatic activation devices) on the chutes work nearly all the time so I think I would have been OK if the jump master hadn’t actually caught me,” he said.

In any case, Jones does not plan on pursuing a skydiving career, ABC reported.

Editorial note: Attribution in this story has been updated to include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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