Skydiver describes near-death experience in Las Vegas
A woman has described the intense pain she went through when her maiden skydive went horribly wrong in the US, after video was released of the scary moment when her leg became entangled in her drogue parachute.
Raleigh Lillith’s right ankle was caught in the chute that is released initially when skydivers are in free fall, causing her and her tandem instructor to spiral out of control.
Ms Lillith took to YouTube to speak about her ordeal last week, saying she managed to remain calm, partly due to the fact she could not see how quickly the ground was approaching.
“I was as calm as I could possibly be … when it went as wrong as it possibly could, minus dying,” she said.
Ms Lillith said the metal plate in her ankle from a previous accident probably saved her from a bad break, but that she suffered skin and ligament damage, as well as bruising from the reserve chute that eventually saved their lives.
“I was carrying all of our weight on my ankle, which was also being strangled by the parachute that was trying to open and slow us down.
“So you can just imagine how tight that rope was squeezing around my ankle.
“I was in so much pain, I can’t even describe it.
“I knew we were falling but I couldn’t see the ground, so I didn’t know how close we were to getting to the ground. If I could have I feel like that would have made me panic a lot more.”
The pair tried a number of measures to release the drogue chute from her ankle, but had to rely on the reserve chute to eventually save them.
“The first thing I did was kick off my shoe with the other foot. Then I tried violently kicking my leg multiple times to get the rope off, but it was so tight there was no way it was going to come off.
“Then he tried many times to wrap around my leg and pull it off.
“We couldn’t pull the main chute because it would have snapped my leg off.
“We kept falling and kept falling.
“We were spinning out of control, I couldn’t see anything apart from my foot, then he had to cut our main parachute away.
“The reserve chute feels like being hit by a car because it opens much faster than the regular chute. I have bruises all down my neck and shoulders and tonnes of bruising across my stomach.
Ms Lillith said both her and the instructor were unable to move when they eventually did land safely.
“The aftermath was just shock. I was trying to catch my breath because I was in so much pain,” she said.
“I was trying to stay really calm and positive until we landed.
“We lay there for about 10 minutes until the ambulance came because even he was really shaken up.
“I could barely watch the video, it gives me such bad PTSD to watch it.”