British base jumper dies in 90-metre cliff plunge
Police said the 25-year-old man, named locally as Gareth Jones, plunged 90 metres on to a rock platform in Manly, Sydney, during an early morning outing with friends.
Inspector Belinda Caddy, from New South Wales Police, yesterday said officers were treating the death as “a completely tragic accident”.
“We feel for all of the people that were there and obviously our thoughts will be with his family,” she said.
Officers told how Mr Jones had climbed a safety fence to get a better view but had slipped near the edge and fallen.
Police said Mr Jones could not be revived.
The incident, which took place early on Sunday in an area called North Head, did not involve a base jump. Mr Jones, who is from Brighton, is pictured on his Facebook page making a number of base jumps – including one at 1,080ft from Kuala Lumpur tower in Malaysia .
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The Foreign Office had not confirmed his identity last night.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Manly, New South Wales, on 7 December. We are in touch with local authorities and stand ready to provide consular assistance to the family.”
Police in Sydney have not confirmed Mr Jones’s identity but said witnesses told them a man had climbed a fence and walked to the edge of the cliff before falling and hitting a rock platform below.
Tributes have been paid to the 25-year-old on social networking sites, including Facebook.
Bella Smart said she was “so proud of the man you were becoming and the beautiful soul you let us see. You will be forever missed but never forgotten”. Another tribute, from Echo
Giesel Widmer, said Mr Jones was a “wild child” who was “never boring” and “always challenged the norm”.
He said: “He made every moment more fun, and exciting. He pulled everyone out of their comfort zones and just let go.”
A fellow extreme sports fanatic, who said he filmed Mr Jones when he base jumped from the Eiger in the Swiss Alps, paid tribute on his Facebook page.
“Sad to announce that Gareth, who featured in my first Base video, passed away yesterday,” wrote Bouken Boy Media. “A sport like that draws vibrant personalities, and he was an immensely fun and cheerful dude.”
Base jumping is a form of parachuting from a fixed structure or cliff. Base stands for “building, antenna, span, earth” – the four “structures” that can be jumped from.
Base jumping grew out of skydiving, although the jumps are generally made from much lower altitudes than skydives, and a base jump takes place close to the object serving as the jump platform.
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