Skydiving instructor saves passenger's life after parachutes fail

·2-min read

An experienced skydiving instructor has been remembered as a hero after he tragically lost his life saving his passenger.

Arron Toepfer from Mildura, Victoria was skydiving in Torquay on Friday afternoon with a tandem passenger when both of the men's parachutes failed to open correctly.

The 35-year-old took the impact of the fall, which saved the life of his passenger.

A close up photos of Arron Toepfer skydiving showing him looking at the camera smiling.
Arron Toepfer was killed when his parachute malfunctioned during a tandem skydive. Source: Facebook

Skydiving instructor was 'wonderful man'

The experienced skydiving instructor, who was said to have made a jump between six and ten times a week, has been described by his colleagues as a “wonderful man”.

Owner of Australian Skydive, Ralph Hamilton-Presgrave, told the Herald Sun that Mr Toepfer was a “great guy” who always put others first.

“Arron was always willing to help and would give you the shirt off his back if he could … he will be sorely missed,” Mr Hamilton-Presgrave said,

“He was a really good guy, extremely experienced, probably the top two experienced people here, he knew what he was doing [and was] really capable," he continued. 

“[The accident] could have happened to any one of us.”

Victoria police said the two men came crashed in a paddock on Fisher Street in Torquey after they “got into difficulty” during the tandem jump.

Mr Toppfer's passenger, a man in his 50’s, was flown to hospital with a broken leg and is in a stable condition.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner and investigate the crash alongside the Australian Parachute Federation and WorkSafe.

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