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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 10:33 GMT
Award for daring skydive rescue
Sgt Steve Davies
Sgt Davies managed to open his reserve chute with his 'good' arm
A skydiver is to receive an award for saving the life of a trainee who spun out of control during a jump in the US.

Sgt Steve Davies, based at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, broke his arm during the rescue and his injury meant he had to rely on his reserve parachute.

Both men landed safely after the 12,000 ft (3,657m) freefall jump in 2006.

He said he is "surprised and overwhelmed" to be told he will be awarded the Queens Commendation for Bravery in the Air later this year.

The officer was an instructor on board a Hercules aircraft over the border between California and Mexico when the incident happened in November 2006.

I think I am lucky to be stood here talking about and it's best not to look to deep into it otherwise I might not sleep at night
Sgt Davies

Although the trainee had already performed 100 freefall jumps, it was the first time he was wearing equipment on his front and immediately went into a "violent" spin upon leaving the aircraft.

Sgt Davies dived after him and stabilized him but when the trainee readjusted his equipment he went into a barrel roll and started spinning for a second time.

"I need to stop him as he could lose consciousness," he told BBC News.

"When I got to him, I struck him quite hard which stopped his spin and he could open his own parachute but the strike caused a fracture in my arm.

"It was flapping about and I couldn't open my parachute but with my good arm I opened my reserve."

Since then, he said doctors have told him he was lucky not to have his armed ripped off or to have broken his neck he if had struck the trainee near his head.

"I think I am lucky to be stood here talking about and it's best not to look to deep into it otherwise I might not sleep at night."



SEE ALSO
Skydive record set in Thailand
02 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific

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