An skydiving Israeli soldier narrowly avoided death when, after his parachute wouldn’t open, he managed to pull open a reserve chute at the last moment, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday. The incident happened during an IDF parachuting course held last week over Palmachim Beach in central Israel.
Participants in the course included soldiers from the IDF’s Paratrooper’s Brigade as well as Yahalom, the elite combat engineering unit of the Israeli Engineering Corps, Ma’ariv said.
Following the mishap, all soldiers taking part in the course were sent back to their respective units and the IDF launched an investigation into the incident. The findings are scheduled to be submitted on Wednesday.
Responding to the near tragedy the IDF said, “The soldier acted accordingly, as required by standard operating procedures, when he used the spare parachute to complete the jump. Necessary lessons will be learned and subsequently implemented into all future courses.”
Last July, a similar accident occurred and was witnessed by relatives of paratroopers taking part in a jumping exercise. At the time, parents described the horrifying scene, saying that dozens of paratroopers had successfully jumped out of their planes and landed when suddenly a lone soldier was seen hurtling through the air, struggling to get his chute to open. With certain death rapidly approaching, the fighter succeeded in pulling the reserve parachute open and landed safely.