Chair Wendy Mitchem introduced Chris Rantall, and noted that he had previously spoken to the Club. Wendy said that he was the Community Health Advisor at the 7th Day Adventist Church. Chris would speak about his first and only, so far, skydive.
Chris began by giving some background to his early life, then his considerable period in the army, both regular and reserve.
He noted that his daughter was given a skydive as a birthday present and he thought that he would take the opportunity to join her.
Chris went through the delays caused by COVID, the paperwork and protocols which needed to be completed, but eventually 30 July 2021 arrived. He and his daughter were jumping in tandem, each with an experienced person. They took off from Torquay in a very small plane, just the four to jump and the pilot, and climbed to 3000 metres (10,000 feet).
His daughter jumped first with her guide, then Chris and his guide. At the appropriate time, the cord was pulled but the canopy did not open properly due to tangled lines. When the reserve parachute was deployed, the same thing happened, and efforts to untangle the lines were unsuccessful, so they hit the ground heavily.
Initially, Chris said he was hurting, and in and out of consciousness, while the guide seemed to be OK. They were conveyed to the Alfred Hospital, where sadly the guide died. Chris spent six days in the Alfred then six days at South West Healthcare. He suffered a dislocated hip, three broken vertebrae, 2 broken ribs, and damage to his heart and spleen, but here he is!
Would he jump again? Yes, but only if his wife jumped with him.
Chris was thanked by Wendy and applauded by all present. He directed his $25 to “One Day Studios”