UK confirms Briton’s death in parachuting accident in Zakynthos

The British Foreign and Commonwealth office confirmed on Monday that a man who died on the Ionian island of Zakynthos last week in a parachuting accident was 42-year-old London Underground worker Jake Simkins.

Simkins was base jumping off a cliff on Navagio beach on Friday when his parachute became snagged on an overhanging rock.

According to investigators, he hung off the edifice for around three hours, speaking on his mobile phone and sending SMS messages to his seven-month pregnant wife, with whom he was on holiday, telling her not to worry.

Coast guards and other rescue workers tried to reach Simkins, but were unable to bring him off the cliff before the overhang broke away, plunging the Briton onto rocks.

According to the BBC, Dutch tourist Corne van der Eerden was on a nearby beach with his wife and 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, and he ran over to try to help.

He added, «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.

“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,» van der Eerden told the BBC.

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