Oak Island skydiving accident sends man to hospital

Source: Andrew Bates
Source: Andrew Bates
Source: Andrew Bates
Source: Andrew Bates
Source: Andrew Bates
Source: Andrew Bates

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Heather Setzler - bio|email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) - A man is recovering after a skydiving accident Saturday.

Antoine Price is used to seeing customers come into the upstairs area of the Beach Restaurant in Oak Island.  Around 1:30 Saturday afternoon he was stunned to see someone going the other way, very quickly.

"When I saw how he landed, I knew he had done something wrong and probably hurt himself," said Price.

Price witnessed a skydiver hitting the beach after his parachute did not open.  Emergency officials said he suffered a broken leg and possible internal injuries.

"When he hit the ground he just started rolling and rolled like for a good two minutes," said Price.

The accident happened close to the Oak Island Pier, and emergency workers said the man could have suffered more injuries.

"His altimeter wasn't working correctly and it was off by 300 feet," said Oak Island Fire Department Cpt. Chris Anselmo. "He pulled his shoot a little bit too close to the ground, so he came down kind of hard. Estimated about 40 miles per hour when he hit the ground."

Skydiving is a popular hobby in Oak Island that has taken off over the years.

"In the past couple of years they've been coming by a lot here, said resident Jesse Overman. "They like to come by and get close to the pier, so they can end up on the beach."

Brian Strong, owner and operator of Skydive Coastal Carolinas, said the man is from Fayetteville and is an experienced skydiver.

The unidentified skydiver jumped with several other people and intended to land on the beach.  He said the other skydivers landed safely.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.