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Beached! Skyfall at Los Cristianos

PARACHUTISTS poured down on the sand as a majestic cruise-liner nestled in the bay of Las Vistas beach. in Los Cristianos.

But something was not quite right as a lone sky-diver veered out over the water and splashed into the sea between the MS Deutschland ship, and the rock and concrete-slab breakwater.

A lifeguard mounted his surf board and paddled, face down, to intercept and help the parachutist out speedily.

It was all very James Bond for a quiet Sunday afternoon, but the 11 sky divers were neither shaken nor stirred, and their wayward colleague was more embarrassed than endangered.

It was all part of a change of plan for a group of adrenaline junkies, whose gig on the island of El Hierro had been cancelled.

Tim Aldridge, with 200 jumps under his belt, was chilling on the promenade with a cold beer after the excitement, still sporting his T-shirt for the 22nd international concentration of parachutists on the smallest of the Canary Islands.

“There were 26 of us in our group this year,” he said. “We dropped the Gran Canaria party off on our way here from El Hierro in our sponsored military plane.

“The low cloud in El Hierro meant only low jumps of around 3,000-4,000ft, rather than the usual 13,000-15,000ft, so we opted for a scaled-down version in Tenerife.

“It was pre arranged with the local authorities, and we had the back of the beach as our set target. We did a 3,000ft ‘Pop and Drop’, which means a quick deployment of the parachute, rather than drifting down freely for the first part.”

He added: “Our guys are all experienced, but one made a slight misjudgement and had an early bath.”

The Canary Islands are extremely popular for adventure sports, particularly parachuting and hang-gliding. And, as well as El Hierro, there is a big festival in Los Realejos, in the north of Tenerife, and brightly coloured chutes floating serenely down can often be seen against the normally-blue Canarian skies.

The equipment is amazingly compact, as the team demonstrated, folding and shrinking their kit into back-packs little bigger than some people’s packed-lunch holders.

It all made for a spectacular show for enthralled onlookers. The cruise ship was not an official extra, but it showed impeccable timing for its brief call.

The MS Deutschland, a 10-deck, 520-passenger ship, was on a round cruise from Hamburg and back to Bremerhaven with calls at Portsmouth. Lisbon, Agadir, La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, Funchal. Porto, and Saint Marie.

The passengers had just a few hours to enjoy the charms of Los Cristianos. But after their action-taster, they couldn’t wait to pop ashore in the mini-pod shuttles.

If you want to view the spectacular descent, check out Tim Aldrige’s Go Pro helmet-cam footage on the Canarian Weekly Facebook page.

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=35938

Posted by on May 12 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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