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Kelowna man killed in paragliding incident near Hedley

Nickel Plate Mountain is a popular spot for the extreme sport
GSAR file photo October 2021. GSAR file photo October 2021.

A paragliding adventure ended in tragedy last Sunday, Oct. 23, when a young Kelowna man was killed near Hedley.

The victim was 24 years old, according to RCMP, and he died after launching from Nickel Plate Mountain.

Four people were paragliding at the time, and police were called at 10:20 a.m. after the victim failed to reach the landing area with his companions, said Sgt. Rob Hughes, Princeton detachment commander.

The man was later located suspended in a tree.

While the case is now being investigated by BC Coroners Service, it is believed he died of severe head and neck trauma.

Princeton Ground Search and Rescue was dispatched to coordinate a recovery.

According to local GSAR manager Paul Fyfe, specialists from Penticton GSAR were called in for that operation.

The procedure relies on a Human External Transport System that uses a helicopter to lower a technician to the scene.

“It’s definitely very difficult,” said Fyfe.

In May 2020, a man received only minor injuries in a paragliding accident near Nickel Plate.

Hughes said it’s a popular location for the activity.

“It’s a known area because of the steep rock face, and I understand the winds that go through there are favourable for it,” he said.

A paraglider is a lightweight, free-flying, glider aircraft. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing.

Related: Princeton man walks away from paraglider accident

Related: B.C. man dies in paragliding accident on Mount Kilimanjaro

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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