TRA TỪ
Base jumpers defend safety aspect of their chosen sport


 
Heading into the Alps to enjoy some spectacular scenery. Hiking or climbing - there’s a sport for every taste.
JUSTINE EDDE: And I’m about to do a base jump off this cliff. We’re, um, I’m going to base jump from 730 meter[sic]. It’s going to take me 20 second freefall[sic] and 30 second under canopy[sic] when I open my parachute.
20,000 base jumps a year take place here. The jump-off points are easy to get to. In Switzerland, the sport is largely unregulated. Jumping into the void may be the stuff of nightmares for some; fans say it’s an experience like no other.
But not everybody lands safely. This is not, by any means, a risk-free sport. Many are saying it should be better regulated. In some countries, base jumping is banned and after a series of fatal accidents, critics suggest Switzerland should do the same. But for the local mountain rescue service, it’s just one risk among many.
DOCTOR BRUNO DURRER: In 1938 it was climbing the Eiger north face. We had the same discussion in our valleys. It should be forbidden because, you know, the crazy people the rescuers are put at risk. And now the same thing is here with the base jumpers. We have an increasing number of jumps, but the accident rates has [sic] not increased.
Base jumpers say they regulate themselves. The advice: learn to skydive first before taking the big risk of cliffs, and always keep safety in mind.
A WOMAN: If you’re not thinking about the risk every time you jump, you shouldn’t be jumping. It’s something you need to assess every time. You know but also people don’t want to die. They don’t come here thinking, “Oh, I’d like to go…maybe try to kill myself today!” It’s like, that’s not the goal at all. We come here to live our lives.
With the number of jumps likely to hit 30,000 this year, it’s clear this sport is highly attractive; perhaps even addictive.
Yeah, it was a great jump. I…I love it. Let’s go back. That’s all I want.
But you wouldn’t try to climb up these mountains without serious training. The same must go for jumping off them. The Alps are, as they always have been, a very risky environment.
Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Lauterbrunnen.
Source: BBC
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