Base jumping went horribly wrong for Richard Henriksen when he tried to swing over a cliff off of a gymnastics bar. Henriksen was about to make his jump off of the 1200 meter high cliff in Eikesdal Møre og Romsdal in Norway when one of the bolts gave in, sending him spiraling over the edge.
According to NRK, base jumper Richard Henriksen is a doctor and a father of-five. He has become famous because of this video being posted all over YouTube. Some have even questioned whether this video is a fake. And its all thanks to the extreme sport of base jumping.
Parachuting, by definition, is dangerous. Some states require skydivers to fill out a living will before jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. For some skydiving is not enough of a thrill. Those extreme few seek even higher levels of danger by participating in B.A.S.E. jumping. The name itself is an acronym for the four types of places that you can jump off from:
Building: Usually a skyscraper but there are stories of extremists jumping off of a three story building.
Antenna: The most dangerous of the four, and very illegal. You, or your corpse and estate, can get federal charges from the FCC for interfering with the transmission of a radio signal.
Structure: Usually a bridge.
Earth: Jumping off the top of a cliff. Sometimes mountain climbers must climb up one way and down to the the cliff to find a place suitable for jumping off.
It is the last of these upon which Mr. Henriksen attempted to throw himself off of in the typical grand style of the extreme sportsman. Many base jumpers do a back flip as they jump off, but Mr. Henriksen wanted to up the ante. He erected a horizontal high bar upon which he could do some gymnastics before hurtling himself off the cliff. During the pre-flight routine the bar broke.
Had Richard Henriksen let fear grip him for one second he would have died. Instead, he assessed the situation, deploying his chute after aligning his body in the direction he calculated would allow him to achieve a safe landing. Some people have called him “crazy” just because he enjoys a sport that others do not. Henriksen’s ability to survive after this accident shows the mental prowess of all who practice extreme sports such as base jumping.