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Tourist paraglider, 50, falls to death

Cape Town - A 50-year-old German paraglider fell to his death after experiencing severe turbulence shortly after he launched his paraglider off Signal Hill on Thursday.

A paraglider takes off from Signal Hill. File photo: Michael Walker. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“The man is a tourist who has been in the country for a few days. An inquest docket has been opened,” police spokesman November Filander said. The man fell on to a house in Bantry Bay, about a kilometre from where he was supposed to land.

His name has not been released as his next of kin still have to be notified, Filander said.

Anthony Allen, a member of the Glen Paragliding Club and a national representative of the SA Paragliding and Hang-gliding Association, said the man had taken off from the lower launch site at Signal Hill.

“He was flying solo. The wind had increased significantly. He experienced severe turbulence,” Allen said.

He said the incident would be investigated by the police, the paragliding association and the Civil Aviation Authority. Allen said several other paragliders had launched from Signal Hill.

A senior Glen Paragliding Club member had seen how the German man experienced trouble before he fell to his death.

A construction worker at a nearby building site, who spoke on condition his name was not published, said he heard a loud crash.

“It was so loud the alarm of the plumber’s vehicle went off. The man struck the top of the house’s garage and his legs hit the garage door. He was still breathing and he clutched his nose.

“Blood came from his helmet. Firemen came and cut him from the harness,” he said.

ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson said the incident happened about 3pm.

“The neighbours called the paramedics. Paramedics started resuscitation efforts. Sadly, the man’s injuries were too severe.”

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