Military.com

Navy Parachutist Dies in Hudson River During Fleet Week Demonstration

A member of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team the Leap Frogs releases his parachute during a training demonstration in Homestead, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo/Pyoung K. Yi)
A member of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team the Leap Frogs releases his parachute during a training demonstration in Homestead, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo/Pyoung K. Yi)

A tragic parachute malfunction sent a member of the Navy's elite SEAL parachute team plunging into the Hudson River earlier today in what would become a fatal accident, according to Navy officials.

The parachutist was a member of the San Diego, California-based parachute demonstration team The Leap Frogs. The 15-man team is composed of members of the Navy SEAL community, including active-duty Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. It's the official parachute demonstration team of the Navy.

The team was in New York City for the annual Fleet Week event.

Leap Frog performances typically feature six parachutists who jump from an aircraft at heights of up to 12,000 feet. Their demonstration feature smoke canisters, canopy formations, and sometimes streamers or flags.

The accident took place around 12:10 p.m. during a coordinated team parachute jump at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"New York City look to the skies at 12:00. We'll be jumping into Liberty State Park today for Memorial Day Weekend," reads a tweet posted on the official Leap Frogs Twitter page earlier today.

The parachutist, who has not been identified, was pulled from the water immediately by Coast Guard personnel who were standing by the support the demonstration, according to the announcement. He was then taken to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment. He was pronounced dead there at 1:10 p.m., an hour after the jump.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said in a released statement.

The tragic death remains under investigation. Navy officials say the jumper's name is being withheld until his family members have been notified.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

Show Full Article