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

Just Posted

Pat McKenna, Habitat VIN's executive director and Alli Epp, Comox Valley Community engagement manager in front of Design Therapy, one of almost 200 businesses contributing to Bid to Build. Karen McKinnon Photo.
‘#BidToBuild’ auction launching to support affordable housing

Auction builds on last year’s successful effort, with new twists

Hope Rocks at the Campbell River Art Gallery highlighting local linguistic diversity.
Paint a rock to celebrate diversity

Hope Rocks highlighting linguistic diversity in Campbell River

Reflective number or design on hoodie. Police are seeking help in identifying three youth involved in an incident on Soderholm Road early June 12. Photo courtesy Campbell River RCMP
Do you know where your kids were at 1:24 a.m.?

Campbell River RCMP seeking help identifying three youths

John Hart Dam near Campbell River, B.C. BC Hydro photo
Campbell River watershed forecasts improve with rainfall

BC Hydro projects slightly higher resevoir levels and river flows after rainy May and June

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Most Read