We had this dam on our bucket list for a long time. Finally, we found a day with a perfect forecast and low water level in the reservoir. We got up early to arrive to the place half hour before a sunrise. We were 3 jumpers.
In the middle of the dam there is a fixed crane overhanging 10m from where a local company offers bungee jumping services. In the bottom, just below the crane there is a water exit to a pool. This pool extends some 60m from the dam wall and after is our primary landing zone. The pool itself is a very dangerous zone because of the water stream coming from the reservoir. To the left and right of the pool there are some small places where we could also land in case of emergency. The laser measurements gave us 95m from the top to the water. After the pool we gain vertically around 10m more.
We went down to inspect the landing. Just after the pool was some low water safe landing. 60m after the pool was dry road and this is where we were heading as a main landing area. To the right from the exit point was our first emergency landing zone. To the left there wasn't much room to make a safe landing, but it was still better than landing into the pool (something consensuated by all before jumping).
Shortly after we went back to the top, geared up and climbed to the edge of the crane. The feel was of no wind. We had a tiny branch each, I dropped mine and it went down in a straight vertical line. We all decided going hand-held, me first, after Riki (the rookie of the group) and then the last one. My jump went perfect, hand-held, 1 sec delay, on-heading opening and landing in the main landing area, even further than expected (approximately 140m from the dam wall). Then Riki jumped, hand-held, 1 sec delay with good body position but he had a 90º off-heading opening to the left. He corrected the heading with rear risers losing considerable vertical altitude without moving forward to the landing area; taking some precious seconds to let go his breaks. When he finally released them, he was low, but still decided to go forward for the main landing zone (we guess he thought he will make it). Unfortunately for all, he couldn’t manage to pass the pool and landed into the left corner, just few meters before its edge. The strong water stream made him disappear and we couldn’t see him anymore.
It’s very difficult to tell why he wouldn’t let go the breaks sooner. Both human and gear factors may had some influence. Riki was a young, full of life and kindness, enthusiastic jumper. He will be deeply missed by all the family, friends and local skydive-BASE community members. Fly free, brother.
Can you help us with incident interpretation? We are interested in any details regarding personal experience, gear, weather conditions and any other circumstances related to the incident.