Skydiver died while saving life of student whose parachute failed mid-air - Khorgist.com

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Monday, 19 February 2018

Skydiver died while saving life of student whose parachute failed mid-air





Carl Marsh, 46, went to help Dominic Leeds when a piece of his equipment snapped during a training exercise. Boy, 5, risked his life to save his twin from freezing river 


Mr Marsh managed to help release Mr Leeds’ reserve parachute but became tangled in the student’s principle shoot. Mr Marsh managed to cut himself free but is believed to have lost consciousness when his chute started spiralling him to the ground at high speed.

 He died from multiple injuries at the scene in front of his teenage son who was working on the ground at the time. He died trying to help someone else during a training exercise near Lancaster (Picture: Cavendish) The accident happened on April 29 last year at the Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham, near Lancaster, during a training day for tandem sky-diving


. Mr Marsh, from Knutsford, Cheshire an expert instructor, who had performed 1,150 jumps all over the world had gone up in a Cessna Caravan aircraft with Mr Leeds to teach him a two-way manoeuvre called a ‘canopy formation’ which sees jumpers fly their parachutes in proximity to each other and then ‘dock’ onto the other jumper’s parachute in a move known as a ‘stack.’ Victim of Matthew Falder forced to eat dog food describes fear of meeting new people The pair jumped out at 8,000 feet but as Mr Leeds attempted to release his parachute, a toggle broke and Mr Marsh went to help him. 


Mr Leeds – who himself had previously carried out 400 jumps – told the Preston hearing: ‘I didn’t immediately execute my emergency procedures because I was worried that Carl was very close or behind me. ‘I said to him: “Mate, my brake line has broken” and I remember him replying to me: “Okay buddy, don’t worry.” We were coming through the clouds at this point and he said: “Don’t worry I’ll come and dock on your canopy and we will go down together”.’ A coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure following Mr Marsh’s death (Picture: Cavendish) ‘I should have told him we will go down side to side – at this point we had plenty of time to fly down safely before having to deploy my reserve parachute. 


‘We achieved the dock and we went through the cloud. As we came through the cloud Carl started to steer us back towards the main landing area. ‘We had good communications at this point. I saw two parachutes down below me so I said: ‘Can we wait a second whilst they separate’ and Carl turned us in a different direction. ‘At this point Carl was telling me I needed to break off. I remember having a huge surge of adrenaline as the reality and fear of what was happening set in. ‘Carl said: “Come on buddy you need to cut away,” and he said this as an instruction. I pulled out the red lever and released my canopy and fell away from him. I went into free fall and then deployed my reserve parachute. ‘As I cut free, my primary parachute became wrapped around Carl’s legs. I had so much adrenaline at this point I couldn’t tell whether he said anything else to me but I don’t remember him saying anything. I looked back to see that Carl was spiralling with my canopy on the bottom of his legs.’ Mr Marsh’s 19 year-old son Craig, who works at the centre and was present that day told the inquest: ‘He was the best dad I could have had – he did everything for me.


 He was always looking out for others and always put other people first before himself.’ Recording a conclusion of misadventure, Coroner James Newman said: ‘This is a hazardous sport and Carl deliberately put himself in harms way to help his student.’ He added: ‘Carl Marsh attempted to assist, putting himself at risk and subsequently became entangled in a primary parachute that had been released leading to the involvement of a catastrophic spin. ‘This resulted in unconsciousness and Carl was therefore unable to recover the spin and suffered catastrophic and fatal injuries passing away at the scene. It is a testament to his character that he stepped in to help, in doing so he put himself in danger.’ Mr Marsh, was an experienced parachutist and held BPA qualifications. He worked for TrustFord car dealership in Wilmslow at the time of his death..


Skydiver died while saving life of student whose parachute failed mid-air
 He had previously worked at garages in the Greater Manchester area including Evans Halshaw in Altrincham. His family said in a statement: ‘Carl was taken away from us so suddenly, that this just doesn’t feel real. Carl was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and nephew to all of us and we all loved him very much. ‘Carl had a big personality and a positive outlook on life. He was full of jokes and laughter and always had a huge smile on his face. He loved nothing more than to have a laugh and joke with us all and never failed to bring a bright light into our lives. ‘His enormous heart was big enough for every one of us and he loved life to the full. He was a role model for many and had recently achieved the level of Category System Instructor with the BPA. ‘His passion for sky diving was something he got a great deal of pleasure out of. He was a leader and admired by so many and his son Craig says he was his hero. ‘It is hard to imagine how life will be without Carl. He has left a massive hole in our lives and we will never forget him. ‘Carl was an inspiration to us all and his zest for life was demonstrated every day in his love for his family, his strong work ethic and his happy personality.’

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