British daredevil Matthew Gough has been BASE jumping for over three years and has had over 180 successful BASE jumps all around the world. This was not one of them. In his latest jump the extreme action enthusiast leaped off a 1,000-foot cliff in Lake Garda, Italy. Gough wore a headcam to document the extraordinary feat, but triumph turned to near-tragedy in the blink of an eye. The 25-year-old made his precarious jump from the cliff, but his parachute got twisted and was facing backwards. Instead of safely sailing down to the ground Gough smashed into the rocky mountain. Gough plummeted down the cliff and collided back to Earth going roughly 40mph. Somehow Gough not only survived the dramatic plunge, but miraculously he only had a few minor injuries to his lower extremities and was even released from the hospital just hours after being admitted.
“I was trying to think about what to do, but all I could think about was trying to stay alive, I knew the final impact was coming soon and I knew if I hit the floor at the speed I was traveling, I was in a whole lot of trouble,” Gough later said. “I managed to hang off one side of the [canopy] and get away from the cliff but couldn’t control it still, I didn’t know if I was going to hit the floor or go into the lake.”
The near-death experience hasn’t scared off Gough from BASE jumping, he says, “Some jumps I may not do, I may avoid the more technical ones but I will carry on jumping, my parents are desperate for me to stop, but I fully accept the dangers of this sport and don’t expect any sympathy.”