BANGKOK (AP) — An Austrian BASE jumper was rescued in southern Thailand yesterday after being stuck for hours almost 200 metres above the ground when his parachute became snagged on the rocky side of a cliff.
Nearby residents of Phattalung province spotted 28-year-old Johannes Grasser dangling by his parachute cords at about 8.30am.
BASE jumping stands for building, antenna, span and earth — the four common objects from which such jumpers launch their descent.
Rescue workers took more than two hours to hike to the cliff’s top before they could lower local rock climber Santhiti Rompothong by rope to reach Grasser at about 2pm.
A video showed onlookers gasping as the dramatic rescue was taking place.
The rescuer attached a rope to a harness on Grasser, who was then lowered about 50 metres to a ledge which has an entrance to a cave through which the two could move to safety. The mountain’s name, Khao Ok Talu, means ‘Hole Through the Mountain’. “The rescue took so long because it took us hours to get up to the high spot where he jumped off the cliff,” said Kittipong Chusongseang, who was part of the rescue team. “It was a long hike up and a long walk down.”
Grasser suffered light injuries when the wind banged him against the mountainside, Kittipong said.
Grasser had been part of a BASE jumping team that performed a show on Thai Children’s Day last Saturday, and returned to jump again with his wife yesterday.