BASE jumping is dangerous. That goes without saying. Whenever you leap off a building, a bridge, or take on any other drop that’d make most people vomit, there’s bound to be a chance that you’ll end up hurt.
That chance increases with the more errors you make before you jump, and when you’re trying something as risky as a 'totem pole waterfall jump', there are a whole lot of errors to be made.
The jump basically involves one jumper standing above and holding the parachute of another, with both of them jumping at the same time and the chutes being released one at a time – water fall style.
Experienced BASE jumpers Austin Carey and Jay Rawe gave this a go from the 486ft Perrin Bridge in Idaho last March, but Jay lost his footing at the crucial moment of the jump, and absolute disaster followed.
To be more precise, a nearly full on 500ft freefall followed, with both Jay and Austin breaking their backs upon impact, making for a horrific video and leaving the onlookers on the bridge they jumped from absolutely stunned.
That night, Jay underwent 10 hours of surgery to have his broken spine fixed with titanium, and eventually managed to battle back to his feet. Austin meanwhile endured surgery and spent seven months in a wheelchair undergoing intense rehabilitation.
The BASE jumper eventually managed to walk again, and despite still suffering from leg weakness, the two guys showed they clearly still have gargantuan balls, with Jay getting back to BASE jumping within seven months and Austin following five months later.
What was especially amazing about Austin’s return? It happened one year and one day on from his near-fatal injury, and Austin chose to jump once again from the Perrine Bridge – the site of his accident.
The video makes for a pretty brutal watch at the start, and at the end you can’t help but feel like Austin probably shouldn’t be there. He proved us and anyone else who might doubt him wrong though, and one thing is for sure; these guys deserve some serious respect.