A student skydiver, who was attempting his second jump, is in a critical condition in hospital after his parachute entangled with his leg in mid air.

The 33-year-old student from Cape Town, who is a member of the Western Province Sport Parachute Club, was injured four days ago near Robertson.

His parents have asked the club not to divulge his identity.

Yesterday Pamela Russel, the club's chairwoman, said he was in a critical condition in hospital. In an email to members of the parachute club, Russel described the incident.

"The student climbed out of the aircraft; as he positioned himself on the strut, his reserve parachute deployed.

"The main deployed as normal, meaning he had two open parachutes," she said.

At some point the main parachute had become entangled with one of the student's legs and he descended to the ground, eventually landing in a horizontal position. His body absorbed the shock from the fall instead of his legs, as they would have, had he landed in the usual tiptoe position.

She said the student had jumped from an aircraft at 3 500 feet (1 067m) above the ground and because his parachutes had opened, he had descended more slowly, instead of free falling.

He was taken to a hospital in Robertson by ambulance. - Mercury Correspondent