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Man dies after wingsuit BASE jumping accident in Grand County

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-08 19:50:38-05

GRAND COUNTY, Utah — Officials say a man died Friday after a BASE jumping accident in southeastern Utah.

The crash occurred around noon about 20 miles northeast of Moab.

The man was flying in a wingsuit from a cliff overlooking Professor Valley when his satellite messaging device "detected an impact and automatically transmitted an SOS signal," the Grand County Sheriff's Office said. His companion also "activated" a satellite device from on top of the cliff.

A medical helicopter spotted the victim about 1,000 feet below the jump point and about 700 feet above the Colorado River, near the Rocky Rapids area. Medics from the helicopter crew were dropped off nearby and hiked to the man, then confirmed he was deceased.

The man's body was on a steep talus slope, so the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was called in to hoist him from the area. The previous helicopter crew dropped two Grand County Search and Rescue volunteers at the scene to prepare for the airlift operation. The DPS helicopter arrived a few hours later and hoisted the victim and the SAR volunteers from the slope to a nearby boat ramp, which the team had also been using in the effort.

The victim's name was not released, but officials said he was a 55-year-old Moab resident.

BASE jumping is an extreme sport that involves jumping from elevated heights, either manmade or natural (the acronym stands for "buildings, antennae, spans, earth"). It can be done using parachutes or wingsuits.