An experienced skydiver died after his parachute tangled during a jump at Moruya on the South Coast yesterday. The man, believed to be in his 30s, was skydiving solo at the Moruya Airport about 4.10pm.
His reserve parachute accidentally opened and tangled with his main chute. He crashed to the ground and suffered critical injuries.
Paramedics could be seen performing CPR about 4.30pm, but the man died at the scene.
Fairfax Media can reveal the highly trained crew of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, based just 300 metres from the accident site, were not called on for help before the arrival of paramedics.
The rescue service, equipped with defibrillators, oxygen support, and pain relief drugs, say they are
frustrated and upset that no one alerted them. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Leahy said the crew did not find out about the death until a police media release was issued about 6pm.
''We certainly had the ability to do everything possible to attempt to save that guy before the ambulance arrived,'' Mr Leahy said.
''We could have run over with our kits, we've got defibrillators, we've got oxygen equipment, we've got all the resuscitation equipment, if he had broken bones and he was conscious, we have the ability to administer pain relief drugs.''
A spokeswoman for the skydiving club said members were all ''shocked'' at the death. Police are investigating and will prepare a report for the NSW Coroner.
The Australian Parachute Federation is also looking into the death, and have assigned a safety officer to the investigation.
The incident comes after another parachutist was killed on December 8 at Wilton in Sydney's south-west. That man died when he collided midair during a free-fall with another skydiver.
The 32-year-old lost consciousness before landing on a parked truck in a paddock near the Hume Highway at Wilton.
The two men were in a group of 16 skydivers who took part in the jump.