A skydiver is missing after jumping out of a helicopter over the Cascade Foothills near Seattle.
According to ABC, the missing skydiver has been identified as Kurt Ruppert, a 29-year-old man from Lake City Florida. Ruppert was last seen jumping out of a helicopter wearing a special flying suit. Authorities know approximately where Ruppert jumped from but since the Florida man was wearing a winged suit authorities are having a hard time pinpointing his location.
King County sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West said:
“The speed and height of the jump would enable him to travel a large distance in a short amount of time … The guys on the ground could not see where he jumped from their angle, and the pilot couldn’t see when he went out the door because he was focused on flying.”
Authorities may not know exactly where to look but they do have plenty of eyes on Ruppert’s trail. Nearly four dozen people set out on Friday to search for the missing skydiver.
Still, West was worried about the man’s rescue. West said that the temperature was expected to drop into the high 30s tonight and that Ruppert wasn’t equipped to survive in that weather.
West also said that the Cascade Foothills was a difficult place to hike.
“We’ve got a lot of search and rescues up here every year. It’s dangerous and difficult. The footing is bad and there are lots of cliffs.”
The Seattle Times reports that Ruppert was an experienced skydiver. According to a friend, Ruppert has been skydiving for about 8 years and has had a lot of practice with his winged suit.
In case you’ve never seen a skydiver in a winged suit, here’s a look at what Ruppert may have been wearing.