BASE jumping is always risky. But earlier this month Jake Simkin -- a 42-year-old British man vacationing on the Greek island of Zakynthos with his seven months pregnant girlfriend-- must have felt somewhat lucky after he jumped and snagged his chute on the rocks of the 900-foot cliff above Navagio Beach.
As Simkins' chute opened, it was caught by a gust of wind—pushing him into the rockface and tangling the chute on the cliffs, leaving him dangling precariously 230 feet above the beach. Simkins reacted calmly, grabbing his phone and calling his girlfriend at their hotel. The authorities were promptly notified, and Simkins, relatively unscathed aside from a broken leg, resumed normal chatting with his sweetheart—telling her to stay calm and joking that she should head out to sunbathe.
It wasn’t until three hours later that the rocks holding Simkins’ chute gave way, and he plunged to his death.
Local authorities are being criticized for their response efforts. Critics say the rescue crew's lack of proper equipment—they didn't have the correct ropes or a helicopter—delayed Simkins rescue and, ultimately, caused his death.