British tourist dies in Zante parachuting accident


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The Independent Online

A British tourist has died in a parachuting accident on the Greek island of Zante.

Jake Simkins, who is believed to be in his 40s, was on holiday with his seven-months-pregnant girlfriend when he died on Friday.

Local police reports suggest that Mr Simkins had been base jumping with a parachute when it became stuck on a cliff above Navagio beach in north-west Zante and he then fell to his death.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the death and said it was assisting the victim's family.

The BBC quoted Siats Sotiros, a local police officer, as saying Mr Simkins' parachute became snagged on the cliff face on the island, also known as Zakynthos.

He said Mr Simkins was stuck for three hours on the cliff as emergency services tried to rescue him.

Dutch tourist Corne van der Eerden witnessed the accident.

He told the BBC: "We heard a flapping sound and saw what we thought was a guy sky-diving or parachuting.

"He crashed into the wall - it looked to be about 60m high."

Mr van der Eerden said the parachute appeared stuck on the rocks.

"I shouted out to him and he said he thought he had broken his leg. He said he had his mobile phone on him and was going to call his wife," he explained

"I told him to be careful but he said he was going to hang on tight. Our boat arrived then, so my wife and I had to leave."