February 23, 2009

Skydiver narrowly missed power line

Authorities in Vermont said a skydiver was brought safely to the ground after he nearly collided with a 7,200 volt power line and clung to a voltage regulator.

Brattleboro Police said Cameron King -- a veteran jumper with Orange, Mass., skydiving company Jumptown -- was blown off course by a strong gust of wind during his Saturday jump at the Brattleboro Winter Carnival, the Brattleboro Reformer reported Monday.

You could see he was coming down very fast, then all of a sudden his parachute kind of wasn't with him, and then it looked to me he kind of looped into (the power lines,) said Rosemary Harris, president of the Winter Carnival.

Central Vermont Public Service spokesman Steve Costello said power was shut off during the rescue, causing about 3,029 customers to experience temporary outages between 1:58 p.m. and 3:13 p.m. EST.

Costello credited the skydiver's clear head with saving his life.

He could have touched a lot of things while waiting to be rescued, Costello said. "He was very calm and listened to direction.

Our crew said they thought he didn't realize how much danger he was in, Costello said. As they explained what (the power lines) could have, done he teared up, and it was finally becoming clear to him what he had escaped.