Two BASE jumpers presumed dead after jumping off California bridge

BIG SUR, Calif. -- A thrill-seeker who parachuted off a California bridge overlooking the Pacific likely drowned, as did the man who jumped in to try to save her, authorities said.

See Full Article

The Monterey County Herald reports Tuesday that authorities first realized the two BASE jumpers were missing on Saturday, although the jump is thought to have occurred days earlier.

BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span, and earth -- a reference to the four types of objects thrill-seekers jump off of with parachutes or wingsuits.

Monterey County Sheriff's officials said Monday that a video from a helmet camera shows Mary Katherine "Katie" Connell, of Ventura, descending roughly 300 feet (91 metres) and landing on Bixby Creek, which feeds into the Pacific. Shortly after the landing, large waves overtake her.

"As the water retreats back into the ocean, Connell and the parachute are not seen retreating back to shore," Bernal said.

Sheriff Steve Bernal says her companion then jumped off the bridge to try to save her. His name and both their ages have not been released.

Bernal says the man likely took off his helmet and parachute to try to rescue her; that's where the footage ends.

Bernal said there are no plans to release the video. Divers are searching the area and other officials are searching from the land and by airplane, Bernal said.

Deputies didn't learn about the jumpers until Saturday afternoon when inspecting an abandoned rental car. A parachute and helmet were found partially buried on the beach.

Deputies looked up the car renter's name and discovered he had an extensive background in BASE jumping and skydiving. Bernal said Connell is an experienced skydiver with more than 300 jumps. Little was released about the man except that he is from Finland. Investigators believe they jumped Wednesday morning.

Jackie Faust, general manager of Skydive Monterey Bay in Marina, said while skydiving and BASE jumping are similar, there isn't much overlap in the communities. She said BASE jumping can be more dangerous and isn't regulated like skydiving.

"(BASE jumpers) don't have two parachutes, they have one, and it's completely different equipment," she said.

Jumping off Bixby Bridge can be especially dangerous because of the ocean and the relatively quick drop, Faust said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Arkansas executes Jones; plans second lethal injection of night

    World News Toronto Sun
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • April showers? Southern Manitoba hit with snow instead

    Canada News CTV News
    People in southern Manitoba might have been expecting April showers, but in the last day they’ve seen snow instead. Up to 25 centimetres of snow could cover parts of Manitoba, including Winnipeg, according to Environment Canada. Source
  • Arkansas kills 1st inmate in Monday double execution

    World News CBC News
    Arkansas has executed inmate Jack Jones by lethal injection, the first of what is set to be the only double-execution in the U.S. since 2000. Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. local time Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas, about 120 kilometres from the state capital, Little Rock. Source
  • Trump backs away from demand for border wall money

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be stepping back from demanding a down payment for his border wall, which could remove a major obstacle to a bipartisan deal on must-pass spending legislation just days ahead of a government shutdown deadline. Source
  • Allan Shyback testifies he grabbed spouse to defend himself when he 'realized she was gone'

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Calgary man accused of murdering his wife and stashing her body in his basement told court on Monday he was a chronically abused spouse who fatally defended himself. Allan Shyback testified he was trying to stop a knife attack by his common-law wife Lisa Mitchell in their Ogden home Oct. Source
  • Court ruling on funding for Catholic schools can't stand, Wall says

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA - Saskatchewan will look at all the options after a court ruling said the province can't provide Catholic schools funding for students who aren't Catholic, says Premier Brad Wall. "This simply cannot stand," Wall said Monday. Source
  • Armed robbers use explosives to break into Paraguay vault, escape by boat

    World News CTV News
    ASUNCION, Paraguay -- Dozens of attackers armed with assault rifles used explosives to blast open the vault of an armoured car company early Monday and apparently escaped by boat into Brazil with a haul of cash, authorities said. Source
  • Aviation officer gives his version of United flight removal

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO - The Chicago aviation police officer who pulled a man off a United Airlines flight describes the man as physically and verbally combative during the incident. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press, the aviation department released the officer's version of the April 9 incident for the first time and named the officer for the first time. Source
  • Chinese leader calls for restraint over North Korea

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - As the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to U.S. President Donald Trump. American's UN envoy warned of a strike if Pyongyang attacks a U.S. Source
  • Venezuelans stage sit-in on roads to protest government

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government. Source