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Skydiver had leg 'launched up at 100mph' after it got caught in parachute and stopped it deploying

Skydiver had leg 'launched up at 100mph' after it got caught in parachute and stopped it deploying

Jack Jarvis had to save his own life while falling from the sky

I've never jumped out of a plane, but if I did, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to think anything other than 'OH F**K, OH F**K, OH F**K'.

I'd like to think that's a pretty reasonable train of thought, but it's definitely not one that would help when you're faced with the challenge of saving your own life.

Jack Jarvis, who is currently looking at about 16 months of recovery after leaping out of a plane, learned this the hard way.

Jack Jarvis had been skydiving multiple times before.

The 29-year-old is no stranger to skydiving, having previously done so in army training, and when he went up in the plane on 17 May he felt ready and prepared for his 26th jump.

"Sorry to sound cliche, but it was a day like any other," Jack said. "Nothing extraordinary happened. I didn't see a black cat or magpie on its own."

With none of these clear warning signs jumping out at him, Jack had no idea things were about to go very, very wrong.

He talked through the jump with the other people in the plane, then it was Jack's turn to take the leap.

"To be fair, the jump went all right up until deployment of the parachute," he said.

After leaving the plane at 4,000 feet, Jack fell freely for 1,000 feet before deploying his parachute.

Except when he did, his leg somehow got tangled in the cords attaching to the giant piece of material that was supposed to stop Jack from hurtling straight into the ground at full speed.

"I was falling at 120mph, so it launched my leg up at about 100mph. It was a horrible sound - cracks, snaps, all those horrible things," he recalled.

Jack Jarvis fought to save his life while in mid-air.
Jack Jarvis

He'd later find out that he'd injured his ACL, MCL, LCL and Meniscus - basically his whole leg, if you're not clued up on your ligaments.

With his body tangled up in the cords, Jack's parachute was unable to deploy properly and slow his descent.

He didn't immediately think he was going to die, but he does remember thinking that he didn't want his life to end. He'd survived rowing across the Atlantic, doing an ultramarathon and 'multiple trips to Ibiza' - he could survive this.

"I remember saying like, 'I'm not gonna die. I'm not gonna die.' I was really frantically trying to get my leg out. I couldn't kick out because my leg is absolutely ruined.

"You don't have to be a doctor to know that if your knee's facing away from you and your foot's facing towards you, you know you're in a bit of a pickle. I remember thinking, I am not going to perish in Salisbury, not today... I just fought tooth and nail to get my leg out."

While still falling rapidly towards the Earth, Jack eventually managed to kick his leg free in a scene he likened to the broken arm scene in Harry Potter.

Jack likened his leg to the 'broken arm' scene in Harry Potter.
Warner Bros.

Though that was a 'painful' manoeuvre, it was definitely a lot less painful than what would have happened if he hadn't got his leg free.

Finally, the parachute was able to inflate, and by the time Jack grabbed hold of his steering lines he had reached about 2,000 feet.

After all that most people would probably just be happy to get back on the ground, but Jack was actually able to focus on finding the landing zone so he could get help as quickly as possible.

Jack Jarvis injured numerous ligaments in his knee.
Jack Jarvis

Incredibly, he managed to land on his feet - or at least on one of them - and his friends quickly rushed to his aid as they realised his leg looked 'like a bit of spaghetti on the floor'.

Jack praised the ambulance service for the speed with which they got to him, and he then spent two days in hospital to have a brace fitted on his leg.

He's now back at his grandma's, where he's looking at a 16-month recovery filled with puzzles, and maybe picking up a new talent or two.

Jack is now facing an 18 month recovery.
Jack Jarvis

Reflecting back on his accident, Jack has no idea why the jump went wrong and has decided just to accept it as 'one of those things'.

And if you're still trying to wrap your head around what it's like to be involved in a parachute accident, Jack described the whole ordeal as similar to another terrifying experience: having sex for the first time.

"It happened so quickly and then it's over before you know it," he explained.

Jack knows he's lucky to be alive, but amazingly he's still up for doing one more skydive just so he can say he ended his streak of jumps on a good one.

"The comeback is always bigger than the setback," he concluded.

Featured Image Credit: Jack Jarvis

Topics: UK News, Health