Skydiver dies, body left in field for days

Dec. 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Police in the Netherlands said a failed parachuter was left dead in a field for nine days without being reported missing.

Mark van den Boogaard, 48, was a member of the nation's largest skydiving club and had completed more than 120 jumps since summer 2011, police said. It appeared his chute never opened during a jump last week and he plummeted to his death, the BBC said.

Simon Woerlee, manager of the Nationaal Paracentrum skydiving club to which van den Boogaard was a member said jumpers don't regularly check back after a jump, meaning it's possible someone could be killed and no one know.

"We never check, there is no law, no regulations," he said. "Sometimes people come back to the club for a cup of tea and a chat, but sometimes they just pack up and leave."

The victim was self-employed and wasn't close with family, police said. Club members described him as quiet and a loner. His body was discovered by chance by a group of hunters.

Woerlee said attempts to force skydivers to reconvene are more likely to wind up in false reports of someone missing.

"If you are forced to find out where everyone is, there can be a big drama for nothing," he said. "You can call all the emergency rescue teams and helicopters, then discover the person is sitting at home having tea with his granddad -- that has happened before."

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