Red Devil parachutist has lucky escape at air show (video)

Roshina Jowaheer
Red Devil Lucky Escape Caught on Camera
Red Devil Lucky Escape Caught on Camera

The moment a Red Devils parachutist was caught by his team-mate at the Whitehaven Air Show display after his parachute failed to open was captured on camera.

The device failed to open while the British Army freefall parachute display team was performing on the Cumbrian coast on Friday.

A message on the show's Facebook page confirmed that both parachutists landed safely.

It read: "We can confirm that the Red Devil parachutists are both safe & sound. For the first time in 25 years they had a parachute fail. One team member caught his team-mate & brought him into Queens Dock. Our safety procedures worked perfectly & a huge thank you to Whitehaven Marina for getting them out of the water so quickly."

Volunteer Dianne Richardson told ITV News that the parachute appeared to open.

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She said: "To be honest everybody thought they had been tangled up, but it was only afterwards that they found out that one of the guys managed to manoeuvre to safety.

"There are a lot of masts in the harbour. The professionalism and skills just shows why they are the best in the world."

Speaking to the BBC, Lucy Milne, who was watching the air show, said: "It seemed to go on for ages and it's just seeing the panic of everyone around you and seeing it on the parachute guys as well - the panic.

"And then all of a sudden he just started to go really quick and everyone was holding their breath and then all of a sudden they were in the water.

"Everyone was staring at the water for ages waiting for them both to pop up and then when eventually they did everyone clapped."

An Army spokesman confirmed the incident happened when the parachute "failed to open correctly".

"A team mate assisted in his safe landing, both men were unharmed, and we are now investigating to find out the cause of the incident," he said.

The Red Devils carry out over 60 parachute displays every year. The team is manned by 12 serving soldiers from the Parachute Regiment's three full-time Battalions: 1, 2 and 3 PARA.

Every member of the team has taken part in at least one operational tour of duty in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan or Iraq.

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