James Smith, an experienced skydiver, died in a mishap in Nanoose Bay on Sunday, July 5. (Submitted photo)

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

The skydiver who lost his life attempting an advanced high-speed maneuvre Sunday in Nanoose Bay has been identified as 34-year-old James Smith from Victoria.

Gord Gauvin, a close friend of Smith’s and the owner of Skydive Vancouver Island, said Smith was a beloved husband and father of two, who was was an avid skydiver with more than 1,000 completed jumps to his credit.

“He was a pretty dynamic and a very experienced skydiver,” said Gauvin. “He was very passionate about skydiving and is full of energy. The maneuvre that caused his untimely death is something he has done hundreds of times before. He fully trained on it without accident.”

Smith was finishing off his jump with an aggressive landing called swooping. Gauvin said a miscalculation in the speed, angle of attack and landing resulted in Smith’s death. He died instantly.

READ MORE: Victoria man dies after skydiving incident in Nanoose Bay

The BC Coroners Service and WorkSafeBC are investigating the incident.

Gauvin said that skydiving is safe activity and shouldn’t be given a negative impression because of what happened.

“It wasn’t about shoddy equipment, it wasn’t poor safety practices or anything like that,” said Gauvin. “It’s like race car driver when hits the car on a wall in Indianapolis, does that reflect poorly on car racing? Probably not. It’s something that happens. The fact is, the equipment is used in skydiving is the safest that’s ever been.”

The small tight-knitted skydiving community on Vancouver Island is mourning the passing of one of their dear members, said Gauvin.

“There’s probably 40 or 50 of us and we all know each other and are very close friends as we spend a lot of time together,” said Gauvin. “So we’re all grieving a lot for our friend.”

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

One injured in accident on Brewster lake and Highway 28 intersection

The accident is the third one this week on the Highway 28 route that connects Campbell River and Gold River

SLIDESHOW: Campbell River’s Summerside Express camp founder celebrates last day before retirement

Mark Lerner started the camp for special needs children 34 years ago

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Too much put on shoulders of RCMP suggests MLA

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Taunts, jackhammer centre of Campbell River dispute between neighbours

Provincial court judge orders man to pay more than $16,000 in damages

Most Read