A skydiving instructor saved the life of a skydiver who had a seizure and went unconscious for 30 seconds during his dive.
Christopher Jones, 22, was skydiving in Australia when he had a seizure at around 9,000 feet in the air on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. His instructor, Sheldon McFarlane, was able to reach Jones and pull his parachute at 4,000 feet, while capturing it all on video with a helmet camera. Jones was completing stage five of his Accelerated Free Fall program, and was attempting a left hand turn when he went unconscious, according Jones’ post on Youtube.
Jones said on Youtube that he had spent 30 seconds unconscious while free falling, and regained consciousness at 3,000 feet to land safely.
Jones is diagnosed with epilepsy, but his specialist wrote a letter declaring him fit for skydiving, according to ABC Australia. Epileptic episodes are often unpredictable and can be triggered by stressful situations.
“I’d been seizure free for four years,” Jones told ABC Australia.
Parachutes are fitted with automatic activation devices that deploy on their own, but McFarlane wanted to deploy Jones parachute as early as possible, according to ABC Australia.
“At some stage he would have ended up with a parachute, but having said that, we don't rely on mechanical devices to do the job a fully functioning free-dive instructor can do,” McFarlane told ABC Australia.
Jones described the incident on Youtube as "possibly the scariest moment of my life."
Since publishing the video Sunday under the account Nomadic Adrenaline, Jones’ video has received over 4 million views.