Base jumper's miracle escape after faulty parachute saw him plunge 1,000ft at 40mph

Yahoo! News

A daredevil base jumper cheated death after his parachute opened backwards - leaving him plummeting 1,000ft to the ground.

Matthew Gough had a miracle escape while performing the daredevil feat in Lake Garda, Italy.

The 25-year-old's parachute opened backwards and became twisted, leaving him to smash into rocks and hurtle down the cliff face at 40mph.

During the incredible incident on Matthew, who has completed 180 perfect base jumps in three years, filmed the whole fall on his headcam.

After bouncing down the cliff he landed at the bottom - and was just centimetres from death when a metal spike in the ground knocked his helmet off.

He was found at the foot of the cliff in a crumpled mess but virtually unharmed except for minor injuries to his knees and ankle.

He was rushed to hospital at 6pm on the day of the accident but was released at 1am the following morning and flew straight home to Lichfield, near Birmingham.

Matthew, who took up the sport after completing over 700 sky dives, recalled the horrifying moment he thought he was going to die.

[ Highliner performs daredevil stunt 3,000ft above ground]

He said: 'I prepared for the jump, everything felt really good. Then I performed a 'track', which means you are flying in a forwards direction.

'Everything was going fine and then I pulled the parachute. The problem was the deployment was really slow, it comes down to simple bad luck, nothing else, the conditions were fine, the parachute twisted and when it inflated it was facing backwards.

'Due to the twists I couldn’t control it, I did the best I could with the situation and tried to avoid the cliff but I didn't have the time or the space to avoid the impact.

'When I impacted the first time I started spinning which made the situation worse, the parachute twisted even more before going into a dive and then spiralled towards the ground while I was smashing against the cliff.

'I was trying to think about what to do, but all I could think about was trying to stay alive, I knew the final impact was coming soon and I knew if I hit the floor at the speed I was travelling, I was in a whole lot of trouble.

'I managed to hang off one side of the canopy and get away from the cliff but couldn’t control it still, I didn’t know if I was going to hit the floor or go into the lake.

'I thought both of my legs were broken so I knew I couldn’t go into the lake, plus, I can’t swim which made things even worse.'

He added: 'All I was shouting was 'give me something' it was like I was in a gladiator arena faced against ten guys and I was given just a spoon to fight with, I felt I was desperately fighting to stay alive.

'I was trying everything I could to get some kind of control, then I looked down and saw around ten spikes which I believe were used to hang up wet suits.

[ Video: Base jump from cliff top metres away from dual carriageway]

'At that point I thought I was going to die so the last thing I shouted was ‘I’m going in’ which means I’m dead. I was trying to tell the guys at the top of the cliff what was happening to me.

'The spikes were around a foot long and there was ten of them, the one right in the middle brushed my face and went between my helmet and my face and ripped my helmet off, I think it cushioned my fall slightly.

'When I hit the floor I was so shocked I was alive, I was thinking, I have seen this stuff on videos but now it is happening to me, I was in total shock that I was alive, that was when the pain set in.'

Matthew suffered the fall on April 23 as he travelled the world taking part in extreme sports.

He used to work in sales and marketing but saved up enough money to travel and indulge his adrenaline-pumping hobbies.

Since returning to the UK he has been seen by doctors who have examined minor injuries to his knees, coccyx and heel.

Despite his fall, he insists he will still continue to base jump.

He said: 'I feel massively lucky to survive, I have never heard of this sort of thing happening before and especially no one surviving from it.

'I am still going to base jump but it has made me more aware of the risks, I wouldn’t want this happening to me again and wouldn’t wish it one anyone else.

'Some jumps I may not do, I may avoid the more technical ones but I will carry on jumping, my parents are desperate for me to stop, but I fully accept the dangers of this sport and don’t expect any sympathy.'