Heart-stopping footage shows the moment a daredevil plummeted off a 34-metre cliff into murky water below – shattering his knee in the process.
The short clip shows budding cliff diver Ryan Szymanski, 22, leap into the flooded quarry in Vermont, New England, US, as fellow divers cheer him on.
Somersaulting as he plummets into the quarry, nicknamed “The Grotto”, the dive initially appears to be a success.
Yet as he surfaced from the mammoth jump and climbed out of the water after the video ends, Mr Szymanski soon knew he was in serious trouble.
“I gave the safety divers two thumbs up with a big smile on my face and swam to shore on my own, thinking that I probably had a stinger or a cramp,” he revealed.
‘It wasn’t until I tried to put my weight on the injured leg that I realised something was horribly wrong.”
Mr Szymanski had obliterated every ligament and tendon inside his right knee on impact with the water’s surface.
“I was obviously bummed to injure myself so severely and on the first jump of the entire 11-day trip, but knew from the beginning that I had no one to blame but myself,” he said.
A former gymnast, Mr Szymanski says he transitioned into cliff diving following a recurring shoulder injury.
“The only other injuries I’ve sustained while cliff jumping only resulted in severe bruising,” he admitted.
Friends moved quickly to stabilise his injury and rush him to hospital.
Doctors were forced to open his knee up and repair the substantial damage inside. Mr Szymanski was left with a giant wound sealed with 30 staples.
- Woman’s lies about having cancer ‘fractured her family’
- Man filmed hitting and kicking dog escapes with fine
- Restaurant fined for dumping severely drunk women onto footpath
Now on the lengthy road to recovery, Ryan says that the experience was “pretty surreal”.
He says his injury didn’t put off his peers from making the huge leap straight after.
“Someone actually front-flipped it immediately after me, and several athletes attempted jumps that were considerably more difficult than my own that same day.”