A Norwegian skydiver shocked viewers after he was filmed diving off a mountainside cliff in Norway while using only a wingsuit and a lit flare.
Andreas Hemli jumped off the cliff in Loen, Norway, as his friend and fellow skydiver Espen Fadnes recorded the stunt next to him. The video was shared on Instagram by Fadnes on July 7, 2021.
What is BASE Jumping?
BASE, an acronym that stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, is an extreme sport that utilizes parachutes to jump from various heights.
Often, BASE jumpers opt for wingsuits, which are unique jumpsuits with webbing across the arms and legs that provide the jumper with a gliding sensation rather than a straight free fall.
Wingsuits are also often referred to as “squirrel suits” because of their resemblance to flying squirrel patagium—a skin membrane stretching from ankle to wrist that looks allows them to glide between trees.
Although prohibited in many states across the U.S and the world, it is estimated that 1,000 individuals currently partake in the sport, and currently, there is an ongoing list of the top 50 jumpers in the world.
The jump, which was completed on January 25, 2021, was inspired by Norwegian singer Tix’s song Fallen Angel which was performed at the 2021 Eurovision song contest.
In the video, Hemli is filmed by Espen who holds the camera and films as Hemli begins the countdown from three.
Hemli then dives headfirst off the cliff and into the darkness, lit only by a flare attached to his wingsuit.
As Hemli falls, the wind picks up underneath his “wings,” allowing him to glide around the mountain range which is lit red by the flare.
After gliding for a while, Hemli opened his parachute and began his landing as spectators cheered from the ground below.
What are the Dangers?
It is estimated that nearly 1 in 500 jumps ends in death, Explorers Web reported.
An analysis of more than 20,000 jumps proved that injury or death caused by BASE jumping is 43 times higher than jumping out of a plane, according to The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
It is estimated by the BASE Fatality List that more than 430 BASE jumpers have died since 1981, with 2016 being the deadliest year on record with 37 fatalities—24 involving wingsuits.
Newsweek reached out to Andreas Hemli and Espen Fadnes for comment.
In March, a 16-year-old girl from California witnessed her father—an experienced BASE jumper—fall to his death during a stunt gone wrong from a 23-story luxury skyscraper.
Police warned that not only can those attempting these sorts of dangerous stunts face a misdemeanor charge, but they also have the potential to traumatize witnesses.
“There are consequences that are life and death—this is for real,” Wahl told the station. “It’s not just a crime to do it. When things don’t go as planned, there are other people who are severely traumatized and impacted.”
In 2018, a Ukrainian teen died after attempting a BASE jump with a homemade parachute.