BASE Jumper Matthew Gough Survives 1,000-Foot Fall and Gets It All On Tape

Not a great time for a parachute malfunction.

Not a great time for a parachute malfunction.

Before leaping from a cliff in Lake Garda, Italy, on April 23, British daredevil Matthew Gough had completed over 700 sky dives and made 180 successful base jumps, but—as they say—it’s always the 181st that’ll get ya. Luckily for Gough, he was wearing a helmet cam that recorded the jump for posterity. Which is a good thing, because who doesn’t want a record of themselves cheating death? That’s precisely what happened when Gough’s parachute malfunctioned just after he made the leap. 

“Everything was going fine and then I pulled the parachute. The problem was the deployment was really slow, it comes down to simple bad luck, nothing else, the conditions were fine, the parachute twisted and when it inflated it was facing backwards,” said Gough later, “Due to the twists I couldn’t control it, I did the best I could with the situation and tried to avoid the cliff but I didn’t have the time or the space to avoid the impact.”

Miraculously, and despite hitting the ground at 40 mph, Gough survived the accident, although he head was nearly impaled on a metal spike when he landed. 

“At that point I thought I was going to die, so the last thing I shouted was ‘I’m going in’ which means I’m dead. I was trying to tell the guys at the top of the cliff what was happening to me,” said Gough. “When I hit the floor I was so shocked I was alive, I was thinking, I have seen this stuff on videos but now it is happening to me, I was in total shock that I was alive, that was when the pain set in.”

Despite his minor injuries, the 25-year-old plans to continue BASE Jumping. Naturally. “I am still going to base jump but it has made me more aware of the risks,’ said Gough. “I wouldn’t want this happening to me again and wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.”

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