Startling footage shows two paragliders collide 5,000 feet in the air

Emerald Pellot

Two French paragliders collided midair before plummetting nearly 5,000 feet into a cluster of trees. Fortunately, the pair, one identified as Sébastien Watier, were uninjured. Footage captured the jaw-dropping moment from multiple angles.

In the video, the first shot, recorded from the ground, shows the two paragliders clash. Their parachutes appear to entangle as they fall and disappear in the trees. Another angle in the video is an aerial shot by Watier himself.

While he is in the air, a female pilot speeds toward him. Watier is hit and the strings of their parachutes become snarled. There’s a struggle before they both land in the forest canopies. Watier eventually lost consciousness while hanging from the tree, but they were both otherwise uninjured.

“The female paraglider was not injured,” Watier told NewsFlare. “But I was suspended five meters from the ground and suffered harness syndrome, the compression of blood circulation in the lower body, which led to a loss of consciousness for ten minutes.”

Watier attributed the crash to a lack of vigilance on both of their parts. Nevertheless, during the incident, he remained calm and opened his rescue parachute. The move, he would later realize, was not the ideal one.

“After speaking with numerous instructors, they said that in this situation, lowering the main wing to allow the rescue wing to deploy is very complicated when the wing is twisted above,” he said.

Fortunately, Watier was largely unscathed and resumed paragliding the very next day.

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