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Skydiver miraculously survives 8,000-foot fall without parachute

Skydiver miraculously survives 8,000-foot fall without parachute

Back in 2013, a skydiver somehow survived falling from 8,000 feet with no functioning parachute

A skydiver once survived falling 8,000 feet after a complex stunt went wrong, leaving him with two failed parachutes.

Back in 2013, Craig Stapleton, then 51, was a seasoned skydiver in Nothern California doing what he loved.

He jumped from a plane at about 8,000 feet in Lodi, California on March 10, 2013, with his friend Katie Hanson.

The duo were attempting what is known as a 'down plane flag', which is a flag-release stunt where their parachutes land on the ground, followed by a flag landing up on a lanyard.

Stapleton said that if the stunt had gone all according to plan, then it would have been a 'beautiful display'.

But things really didn't go to plan for the skydive enthusiast as both of his parachutes failed, leaving him plummeting to the ground praying for his life.

He told ABC News: "I thought, 'God hates me - I felt like nothing was going right here. I knew I was going to die. I thought, 'If I live through this, I'll have months of rehab, hospitals … nothing fun again'."

This wasn't actually the first time Stapleton had attempted the dangerous stunt, as it was something he had done many times over his 25 years experience of skydiving.

But things were heading to tragedy just seconds after the pair left the plane as both of their speeds were off, which is required to perform the stunt.

Stapleton's speed was too fast, meanwhile Hanson's was too slow.

Stapleton told ABC News that his foot flung up in the commotion while he went through his gear, leaving the lanyard going in the wrong direction.

Craig Stapleton feared for his life after the parachute failed.
ABC News

At this point, Stapleton knew he was in trouble: "I was like, 'Man, this is like a bad student jump.'

"I can't believe this is going on. If you go through gear and get a twist, it's usually not that big a deal.

"But with the flag and lanyard, I drug the equipment through the riser group, and it made things malfunction.

"I was pulling on it, yanking it, trying to unthread the knot."

Stapleton then went to plan b, which was the auxiliary parachute, though that got stuck in his main chute.

So Stapleton continued tumbling down, knowing that time was running out for him to save himself.

A video shot by one of his teammates which showed Stapleton tumbling to the ground.

ABC News

Stapleton was the luckiest man alive that day though, as he landed in a row of grapes, in freshly ploughed dirt.

He added: "I remember being relieved because I was still alive.

"It didn't kill me instantly, I remember being really happy I was in the dirt. I rolled onto my back - it knocked the wind out of me - to take a few seconds to collect myself. I could hear my teammates coming."

Remarkably, Stapleton did not sustain any major injuries - discovering that he had a dislocated shoulder and a few bumps and bruises when he went to hospital.

Quite some story.

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: News