Tourism

Aussie skydiving instructor dies saving man in “freak accident”

A tragic skydiving accident has resulted in the death of a man and life-threatening injuries for another.

Victoria Police said the pair were doing a tandem jump when they encountered difficulties and crash-landed in a paddock in Torquay on Friday afternoon, which killed one of the men, who was later revealed to be a skydiving instructor.

The survivor, Christopher Rantall, was airlifted to hospital.

Police told The Herald Sun that the instructor, who has been identified as Arron Toepfer, “cushioned the blow”, saving Rantall’s life, after the two crashed following a parachute malfunction.

Rantall is now in a stable condition having suffered a dislocated hip, several broken bones and bleeding to his spleen and left kidney.

Toepfer, who was 35-years-old, was described by his friends and colleagues as a highly-trained and highly skilled instructor who skydived between six and 10 times a week, according to 9News.

They said he was a “wonderful man” and “someone that people simply wanted to be around”.

Rantall’s wife Berni also paid tribute to Toepfer in a social media post, according to The Herald Sun.

“Thinking and praying for the instructor’s family at this sad time..he was a true hero and such a brave young man,” she said.

Rentall’s daughter Raya posted to Facebook defending the skydiving company, Australian Skydive.

“There are comments on this post questioning the sky diving company,” she said.

“I’m telling you that this company is AMAZING. They’re so good at what they do. They have all of the safety precautions in place. They are all so kind, so friendly and soooo good at their job.

“This was a freak accident, there is nothing to question about the ethics or safety of this company.”

Travel Weekly has reached out to Australian Skydive for comment.


Featured image source: Facebook/Ambulance Victoria


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