French base jumper dies in Bernese Oberland

French base jumper dies in Bernese Oberland
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A 57-year-old base jumper died on Wednesday following an accident near Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland.

Bern cantonal police identified the victim as a Frenchman who jumped from the “High Nose”, a popular spot for base jumpers on the Mürrenfluh, a mountain with a vertical cliff.

The man had gone to the top of the cliff just before lunch with a colleague, police said.

He jumped and crashed for reasons not as yet known, police said.

An Air Glacier helicopter was called to the scene along with members of the Swiss Alpine Club but the victim was found dead at the foot of the cliff.

The fatal base jumping accident is the latest of more than 32 that have occurred in the Lauterbrunnen area since 1994.

Base jumping is an extreme sport that involves jumping from cliffs and structures, such as tall buildings and bridges, using special parachutes to break the fall.

The Swiss Base Association (SBA), which provides advice and information for base jumpers on its multilingual website, has a section in English called the “Dark Side”, which describes in chilling detail the deaths that have occurred in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

“Too many jumpers died in this valley!” says a message above the list.

“Don’t become a statistic,” it adds.

“Life is precious, play safe.”
The SBA lists a number of rules, including a requirement to notify Air Glacier before every jump because base jumpers are entering the helicopter company’s air space.

Third party insurance is obligatory.

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