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British base jumper dies in Thailand after parachute fails

A 33-year-old British base jumper has died in Pattaya, Thailand after his parachute failed to open, local police said.

The man has been identified in media reports as Nathy Odinson, a skydiver and base jumper who shared photos and videos of his stunts to a Facebook page with 10,000 followers.

The incident occurred when Odinson jumped from a 29-storey building in the town’s beach resort area at about 7.30pm on Saturday night. Police say they were called to the building after witnesses saw a man crashing to the ground through a tree.

33-year-old Nathy Odinson moments before his parachute failed. Screengrab (YouTube)
33-year-old Nathy Odinson moments before his parachute failed. Screengrab (YouTube)

They said that Odinson had gained access to the roof of the building with some friends, who were filming the stunt for social media.

Police lieutenant Kamolporn Nadee, deputy inspector of investigations at the Bang Lamung district police station, said another friend who was filming the incident from the ground at the time had been questioned by officers, according to Thailand’s The Nation newspaper.

The Nation cited security guards at the building as saying it was not the first time Odinson had used the roof for base jumping.

Police lieutenant Kamolporn said: “The parachute that the deceased used to jump malfunctioned and was not centred as expected,” according to the Mirror.

“Forensics officers are investigating the case further. They are examining the parachute.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Thailand.”

In a video of the incident, Odinson can be seen on the rooftop addressing the camera against a backdrop of the night sky. He is equipped with a helmet that has a camera attached and is seen inspecting his gear before jumping.

Images from the scene published by Thai media show emergency responders on the street below, along with what seems to be a blue parachute lying on the pavement.

Base jumping is considered to be considerably more dangerous than skydiving. Unlike with the long drop from a plane, those taking part have just a few seconds to react in case something goes wrong. It also typically involves falling next to a structure such as a building, which the jumper could be blown into or hit on the way down. And jumpers typically rely on a single parachute, rather than having backup parachutes like those typically used in skydiving.