PATTAYA – A 69 year-old Scotsman has died after plunging into a reservoir in a tragic skydiving accident with Thai Sky Adventures in Pattaya, Chon Buri, Thailand.
Veteran skydiver James McConnell jumped from a plane from British-owned firm Thai Sky Adventures before having an apparent heart attack in the free-fall.
Eyewitnesses told the centre they saw the man rolling onto his back and spinning in mid-air shortly after he jumped.
His parachute was seen to be deployed, but he did not steer it as he drifted towards the ground. He missed the designated landing spot and landed in water.
Rescuers arrived at the scene and battled to save the former engineer from Dunctocher, Scotland, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.
His shocked family have said they cannot understand what caused the experienced skydiver to miss the landing zone and plunge into the water.
And they have been told he may have suffered a cardiac arrest immediately after jumping from the plane.
Mr McConnell, who had retired to Thailand, visited the British-owned skydiving centre regularly.
Colonel Chonnapat Nawalak of Nong Kham police in Chonburi said on Thursday: ”We’re still checking the cause of his death.
“He jumped from the plane and landed in the water, so we have to check whether he died from the jumping or from drowning.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Thailand. We are in contact with the Thai police.”