Base jumper died after his parachute opened too late, inquest hears

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A father-of-two from Gislingham died after his parachute opened too late while he was base jumping in Switzerland, an inquest has heard.

Adam Roots, 38, of Hill Crest, was enjoying the extreme sport - where thrill seekers leap from a mountain or high object and parachute to the ground - with his friends in Lauterbrunnen in July last year.

The inquest heard he was an experienced base jumper, a parachute instructor himself who had completed 45 base jumps as well as around 600 skydives.

Assistant coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone read a report during the inquest, at Suffolk Coroners’ Court on Monday, which described the tragic incident on July 25 last year.

He said Mr Roots and his friends had decided to take on the La Mousse jump-off point, arriving there at around 11.45am and taking some time to relax while they waited to jump.

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The inquest heard Mr Roots was the first to take it on, leaping from the jump point at around 12.01pm.

Dr Sharpstone read aloud an account from Mr Roots’ friend and colleague Gary Lincoln-Hope.

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He said he had seen Mr Roots’ parachute fail to open in time and witnessed him crash to the ground. He immediately notified the emergency services.

“After this call I immediately jumped too,” he said.

“I went over the trees to see exactly where he landed. “Then I ran over to Adam and examined him for signs of life.”

Mr Lincoln-Hope had said by the time Mr Roots’ parachute had opened “It was already too late.”

The inquest heard that Mr Roots had been using his own parachute that he had bought the week before. He had used this parachute for eleven base jumps before the tragedy at La Mousse.

Dr Sharpstone said an accident report said Mr Roots had died because his parachute had deployed too late - although it was not clear whether this was due to faulty equipment or human error.

It read: “It can be assumed the accident was because of late deployment of the pilot chute or difficulty opening the chute.”

The report ruled out any third party involvement in Mr Roots’ death.

Dr Sharpstone said the cause of death was from multiple injuries as a result of a fall from height.

Concluding the inquest, Dr Sharpstone said Mr Roots died as a result of an accident, describing it as a ‘tragic moment’.

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