11 Sep 2012

NZ base jumper dies in Italy

3:29 pm on 11 September 2012

A professional base jumper says the Italian peak a New Zealand man died base jumping from is exceptionally high for the sport.

Italian news agency ANSA says the 20-year-old man's parachute failed to open after he jumped from a peak known as Eagles Beak in the northern region of Trentino Alto Adige on Monday.

The man was reported to be with about a group of 10 people and is the second New Zealander to die base jumping this year.

Professional base jumper Chuck Berry says most jumps range between a 150 and 250-metre fall.

The peak the New Zealander jumped from was more than four times that height, at 1100m.

Mr Berry says those heights are the reason people base jump in the region of Trentino Alto Adige.

He says in most cases high jumps are easier, because people have more time to carry out the jump plan and judge when to release their chute. However, accidents do happen.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is liaising with the man's family. In Italy, an investigation has begun into the incident.

In July, New Zealander Alan McCandlish, 31, died in a fall from a mountain in Switzerland.