A Memorial Day Weekend exhibition as part of New York Harbor's Fleet Week turned into horror show in the sky as a parachute jumper plummeted into the Hudson River when his chute failed to open. The jumper was a Navy SEAL who jumped from a helicopter on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River on Sunday.
According to NJ News, witnesses report that the parachutist looked as though he realized that he was in trouble and he aimed his landing toward the Hudson River by detaching his parachute. He landed in the Hudson River and was pulled out by rescue crews, who were already on the scene for the event. He was then transported to the shore, where an ambulance brought him to the Jersey City Medical Center.
According to NJ News, the local fire department and members of the Coast Guard were on standby during the exhibition and they were able to get to the parachute jumper and pull him out of the Hudson River within minutes. The jump occurred a little after noon on Sunday, by the elite group of Navy SEAL parachute jumpers called the Leap Frogs.
The Navy SEAL who lost his life in this accident is not identified to the public as of yet. He was pronounced dead at the Jersey City Medical Center at 1:10 p.m., about an hour after the ill-fated jump. According to reports, the Navy SEAL's identity will not be released until next of kin is notified.
The jumper detached from his parachute mid-fall, apparently realizing it was malfunctioning and by doing this he positioned himself to land in the Hudson River. The landing destination for this jump was Liberty State Park, which is near the Hudson River. The Navy SEAL landed in the river and the parachute landed in a parking lot at 30 Hudson Street. The chute was roped off and photographed by New Jersey law enforcement, it was then taken for inspection as part of the probe into this accident.
According to the Mirror, the aerial display was being viewed by crowds numbering into the thousands, whose Sunday afternoon turned to terror watching the parachute jumper tumble to Earth at great speed without a parachute. The Mirror is reporting the jumper was pulled from the water in Morris Canal, which is near the mouth of the Hudson and it took just "moments" after he came down for the rescuers to pull him out of the water.The Navy Department released a statement about the tragedy, which included,
"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today." This was a prepared statement delivered by Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, who is the commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.Scorby gave very few details about the ill-fated parachute jump. All that he did say was that the parachute failed to open. Thousands of spectators watched this parachute jump from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, across the river from New York.
New York Fleet Week attracts thousands of people to the event each year as the Navy ships come into the harbor in all sizes from small ships right up to the big warships. Along with the ships. thousands of military members also come in for Fleet Week for the events that are offered in the week-long celebration. Witnesses said after the parachute jumper landed in the water, he was just limp and lifeless. The rescue crews started to do chest compressions on him once he was in the boat.
According to the Mirror, one witness, who happened to be out in his boat watching the Leap Frog crew's demonstration, saw the jumper come down in the water. They jumped from a helicopter, said Bjoern Kils, 37, of Jersey City. Kils said, "Almost the same time that they touched down in Liberty State Park, we heard a splash and turned around very quick. I saw the water splash, and apparently, there was a fourth parachutist. He continued saying, "We're not sure where he came from. We didn't see him exit the same helicopter and apparently the chute did not deploy."
[Featured Image by Jim Mone/AP Images]