A skydiver who survived a fall of 12,000ft thanks to the thorny branches of a blackberry bush has released dramatic footage from his helmet camera, capturing his rapid descent towards earth as he plummeted helplessly to what seemed like certain death.
The video shows Mr Holmes, 25, spiralling uncontrollably after pulling the parachute ripcord at 4,000ft and finding that it failed to open, but caught enough air to start spinning him violently in the air.
As he tumbles towards the ground at 80mph, the skydiver is seen checking the altitude metre reading on his left wrist as he struggles to turn onto his back to try to spot the problem and correct it.
In the final seconds of his fall, Mr Holmes waves at the camera and yells “bye” before the image of his shadow growing larger beneath him fills the screen and the picture suddenly goes black.
Mr Holmes, who ranks among the world’s top ten skydivers, insisted he wanted to continue with the sport, but admitted that he probably had “used up his share of luck” was likely to feel some apprehension before his next jump. He said the accident had been a “million-to-one” chance and he plans to continue making his living by skydiving.
Mr Holmes, who was in hospital for just 11 days after his ordeal, said he estimated that he reached terminal velocity of 121 miles an hour during the free fall part of his jump, but the drag of the tangled parachute had subsequently reduced his impact speed to around 80 mph.
He missed a nearby airport car park by less than 30m, landing on his side in the blackberry thicket, which arrested his fall, saving his life.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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