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Australian skydiver Melissa Porter killed in accident while attempting ‘new method’ of jumping

July 4, 2023

A young Australian woman killed in a skydiving accident in Texas attempted a new move “too close to the ground for a safe landing” in the moments before her death, the skydiving centre has revealed.

Melissa Porter, an experienced skydiver and instructor from Port Kennedy in Western Australia, was attempting a new jumping method on June 24 at the Skydive Spaceland Houston facility.

A Skydive Spaceland Houston spokesperson said Porter was critically injured while trying an advanced move during landing.

“Melissa Porter, 29, of Rosharon, had done several hundred successful skydives at this location over the last two years and was using her own parachute system for a self-supervised skydive,” they told 7NEWS.com.au.

“The free fall was uneventful and the parachute deployed and functioned normally, but witnesses reported that she initiated an advanced landing manoeuvre too close to the ground for a safe landing.”

The 29-year-old received medical attention from on-site responders and was rushed to hospital, where she died from her injuries.

Authorities say they did not find any blunt force trauma to her body, and it is not yet clear if she had a medical emergency during the dive or if she died from the impact.

Witnesses said when Porter jumped from a plane, her parachute deployed, but she suffered a hard landing on the property before falling into a shallow body of water, ABC reported.

Weather was not a factor in the tragedy nor was her equipment, which was appropriately sized, in good repair, and maintained properly acording to the standards of the Federal Aviation Administration, Spaceland told 7NEWS.com.au.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office will be investigating her cause of death.

‘She was my rock’

Porter’s mum Vonnie remembered her daughter as a beautiful person whose smile lit up the room.

“She was just the nicest person you could ever meet. She was so caring and warm and kind and everything,” she told 7NEWS.

“She just treated people with so much compassion and I’ve had so many messages from people that she’s helped through dark times.

“She was my rock and I was hers. You couldn’t ask for a nicer little girl.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porter was well known both as a skydiving competitor and an instructor, taking part in a national women’s record in Queensland earlier this year.

Her grief-stricken family and friends are organising a memorial skydive at the skydiving facility in her honour.

“We are devastated by the loss of our good friend, and we offer our sincerest condolences to her family and friends,” the Spaceland spokesperson said.

“A memorial event is being planned.”

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au they are “providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian woman who died in the United States”.

“We send our deepest condolences to the woman’s family,” they said.

 

Culled from 7News

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