Parapente Flyer Almost Lost His Life

Today Thais, my niece was looking out at the ocean and pointed. I got up to look, because I thought it was a dolphin. I realized that it was a parapente flyer who had landed in the water about 100 feet from the beach just to the North of our house. I realized that he was being pushed down by his parachute. Just about that time all of us were looking out of the window, so Felipe, our nephew, who is 27 years old, ran down to the beach and into the water to save him. Leo was behind him but of course he was not so fast.

Felipe was smart, he approached the man, who was about Leo’s age (60’s), from behind. Felipe was kind of floating on the parachute, while he was trying to pull on the ropes to keep the man’s head out of the water. He did not realize at first he was kind of choking the man when he was tugging on the rope. Leo went up to the front of the man and he began to grab Leo and Leo starting going under. Leo was able to break free and told the man to hold on to his shoulder and he would help him swim to shore, but the man in his desperation continue to push Leo down. Leo had to break free again. Felipe pushed the man a bit forward and Leo tried to release the man’s arm from his parachute backpack; but he could not. His wife was about to jump from the hill behind us and she saw him go down so she flew over to the beach and landed about 2oo feet from him. She threw off her equipment and ran to where he was and she swam up to him. At this point they were at a place where they could stand up. She helped push the man to the beach. Enrico, a neighbor, came out of his house and helped get the man out of the water. It was very difficult to get him and his equipment out of the water because it was all very heavy.

At some point, I remembered that we had a boogie board, so I got it and Thais came up and ran it back to the people, so the guy could use it to float somewhat. Finally, they got the man on shore and he laid down on the sand. Then they decided to cut the ropes that were wrapped tightly around the man’s foot. The man said, no! Leo screamed at the man, this is only material things, you can recuperate that, the man repeated no. Since they were on ground and the fear of drowning was gone, Leo and the rest did not cut the ropes. Felipe, worked to get the man’s shoe off and was able to untangle his feet. I guess those parachutes are very expensive, so he didn’t want to have to fix it.

Eventually,  a neighbor called the police and they arrived to take the man off on a quad to the police station. We have no ambulance in Crucita, so it was on its way from Portoviejo. The police were going to take the man to the hospital in Portoviejo. Both Felipe and Leo came inside huffing and puffing from the ordeal. Everyone was very happy that we had seen him in the water and he was able to be saved. See video below:

  1. That was very heroic of Felipe and Leo, saving that man’s life, and how observant of Thais to spot the man in the water. I hope he appreciates what they did for him, and returns to thank them after he recovers.

  2. Great post and great video. I am very glad it all worked out and the flyer was okay. Tell Leo he really has a great tan but not to overdo the sun.

    • Thanks Tom. Leo thinks he is invisible when it comes to sun. He has a closet full of unworn shirts.What can I tell you?

    • Yes, it was scary. As you know, Jenn, the people here in Ecuador are willing to help if they can.

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