The search continues for a skydiver who was reported missing on Thursday. Over 130 mountain rescuers reportedly turned out to help look for the man.
Florida resident Kurt Ruppert went skydiving near Seattle, Washington last week. When he failed to show at the landing zone, his friends became concerned. According to Fox 8 WGHP, it’s believed that Ruppert could be somewhere in the Cascade Mountains.
“We don’t know if he’s on the ground. We don’t know if his parachute deployed, and he’s stuck up in a tree somewhere,” explained Sargeant Cindy West. She added that rescuers resumed their search for the missing skydiver early Sunday morning.
In order to track where Ruppert may have landed, rescuers have been using the helicopter’s trajectory and signals from the missing man’s cell phone. However, authorities have not stated how they determined the signals were coming from the skydiver’s device.
According to The Huffington Post, West explained that Ruppert’s “wingsuit” allowed him to soar for quite a distance before a parachute was deployed.
“The speed and height of the jump would enable him to travel a large distance in a short amount of time,” West said. “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.”
The Cascade Mountain’s rugged terrain has reportedly made it difficult for rescuers to search the area as thoroughly as they would like.
West added, “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.”
According to ABC News, friends said Ruppert has seven to eight years worth experience in skydiving. He also reportedly has some experience with the wingsuit he was wearing at the time of the jump.