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How skydiver miraculously survived after falling 8,000 feet without a parachute

How skydiver miraculously survived after falling 8,000 feet without a parachute

Both parachutes failed and he went into a three-minute spin, hitting the ground at 30 mph, but only sustaining minor injuries.

Skydiving has never exactly seemed like the safest of pastimes, but with the amount of safety equipment involved, the more practised you are, the safer it can be.

Still, accidents can happen and with the rise of action cameras they're more likely than ever to be caught on camera.

That's what happened when Craig Stapleton made a skydive in California in 2013, and everything went wrong.

He and a friend were doing a practice dive to rehearse a flag ceremony they were going to be part of when Stapleton's descent became more frantic. He started to get tangled in both his primary parachute and the flag, and went into a scary spin.

Although the flag ripped loose at a certain point, Stapleton couldn't regain control of himself, and when he finally succeeded in trying to deploy his backup parachute, it got tangled in the first, devastatingly.

From there, Stapleton said that he pretty much assumed he was going to die when he hit the ground, but knew that he had a couple of minutes before that happened, such was the altitude of the dive.

A video shown by ABC News, which was shot by another of his teammates, shows footage of the terrifying incident, and in an interview Stapleton told the news outlet: "I'd pretty much figured I was dead. I was thinking about my wife and kids, and what was going to happen to them I was just really sorry that I wasn't there to say goodbye to them

He added: "At some point you just say this is where I'm going to land, this is how I'm going to land, I've got to do the best I can to brace for that impact and hope to God I survive."

Craig Stapleton survived falling nearly 8,000 feet without a parachute.
ABC News/YouTube

He ended up landing in a field of grapes, with pretty soft soil, and unbelievably the only injuries he sustained were some bruising and a dislocated shoulder - something that has baffled observers.

While it's true that even the wrongly deployed parachutes would have slowed his descent a little, he's still moving quickly enough to be in huge danger, so some commenters under the YouTube video about Stapleton have speculated that it was his spinning that saved him.

One person speculated: "Yeah I also think it's the spin, both people who survived had a very fast spin, hitting the ground not straight on but their angular momentum from the spin probably pushes some of that energy off to the side a little bit, just enough to lessen the impact on the body from lethal to survivable. Just my theory any ways. I guess we should get myth busters on it."

However the exact mechanics of his survival worked, Stapleton lived to tell the tale, which is quite remarkable.

Featured Image Credit: ABC News