A gymnast base jumper in Norway has survived a 1200m fall after a metal rod he was somersaulting around broke, sending him flying off a cliff.
Video footage of the accident, filmed by a TV documentary crew, shows base jumper Richard Henriksen making his first rotation around the metal bar when it suddenly collapses with a loud crash.
Henriksen, a father-of-five, then flies off the cliff head-first as onlookers watch in horror.
TV presenter Are Sende Osen, who was filming the stunt for a TV show on the NRK TV network, said everyone watching let out a huge gasp when it happened and he initially thought Henriksen had died.
In an extremely lucky chain of events, Henriksen narrowly missed falling against the rock face of the cliff and managed to open his parachute on the way down, NRK TV reports.
The BASE jumper said he was disappointed the stunt did not work but he was proud of how he handled the situation when it went wrong.
The full gravity of the situation did not hit home until he was playing with his children after watching video of his brush with death, he said.
“I sat with the two youngest children, reading and singing to them Then it dawned on me that my children could be without a dad,” he said.
Henriksen, who works as a surgeon at St. Olav’s Hospital, said he had operated on some of his closest friends who had been in base jumping accidents.