Two die in separate BASE jumping mishaps

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  • EnglishAlan Rugeley, Staffs
    March 27, 2014 2:51 a.m.

    I am sure that this young man had the "right" to carry out his chosen "sport." However, I used to love rock climbing, and found it difficult to give up. That choice was made much easier once I had a wife, and even more so when I had children. Once those milestones were reached, my "rights" changed. I then had a responsibility to others, and a responsibilty to provide for them. As Paul says in Corinthians, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Whilst I don't wish to sound judgemental, I think that this young man would have been wiser thinking of his wife and unborn child than thrill seeking.

    My heart goes out to his wife, unborn child, parents and other family members. Also to his friends. Such a sad event.

  • Big Joe V Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    March 25, 2014 10:05 p.m.

    I have to ask what value is it to anyone other than yourself to do extreme life threatening activities? There are many dangerous activities, but most are regulated by strict codes, etc. like drag racing, car racing, skydiving, etc, that fall into another category to protect the participants and public. Base jumping is an outlaw activity that seems to be largely for one's only selfish pleasure regardless of the endangerment and cost generated to arrest, prosecute, or retrieve a body. I see no social value to these selfish activities.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 25, 2014 3:33 p.m.


    your line does not equal somebody else's line. Let them do as they please, as foolish and as dangerous as it is. Each man has the right to choose what they do for fun.

  • Judith D. Los Angeles, CA
    March 25, 2014 12:48 p.m.


    I'm not Hindu but I enjoy reading Ghandi's wisdom and applying it to my life. I'm not African American but have found inspiration in MLK's words. I'm not a male, but have borrowed Lincoln's wisdom in dealing with life's struggles. You'd be better off erasing the lines you draw in life and releasing yourself from the knee-jerk desire to reject wisdom from sources you don't necessarily identify with.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:36 a.m.


    Great point. Spot on. Everyone needs to "get away" but as with everything there is a line that should not be crossed. Base jumping crosses that line.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    sandy, ut

    Your view is very narrow. Elder Bednar's good judgment transcends denominational boundaries. Do you also reject the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. because you are not a Baptist or Mahatma Gandhi because you are not Hindu?

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 25, 2014 10:22 a.m.


    Difference between druggies and base jumpers: drugs change the state of mind, which causes the druggies to try to get more drugs, and steal from people, or hurt or kill people in the process. I have yet to hear of a case where a base jumper is so addicted to it that he must have it so he kills a guy and steals his car to drive to his next base jump to get his fix. Nice try. If you hear of a story like that then I will retract this comment.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    There are those who would say taking dangerous drugs is their own business and to them the thrill of doing so makes it worth it.

    What is the difference? None at all!

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    March 25, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    Nothing in life is certain except for death. Risk begins at conception. Life is about risks. Without the risk-takers, life would be less livable for all of us. Columbus took a death-defying risk by sailing beyond sight of land. Most of the conveniences we enjoy today are the fruits of those who were willing to take a risk. In many cases, the risks cost the “adventurers” their lives and those of their cohorts in seeking a newer thrill or achievement.

    How many people have given their lives so that others can comfortably read a magazine in a pressurized steel tube at 35,000 feet where life would otherwise be impossible? How many innovators have died in race cars that have lead the way to making daily driving more safe for everyone else?

    To discount ANY activity because someone else disapproves of the “risk” or sees no benefit from it is to deny ALL scientific, medical, technical, religious, psychological, etc. advances since the beginning of life on earth.

    I enjoy the benefits of the risk-takers without having had to bear their burdens or costs. I don’t mind paying for my share of their efforts.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 25, 2014 8:34 a.m.


    Yeah I am in no way saying that base jumping is safe. I personally do a lot of things outdoors that are dangerous, but I would never ever base jump. I just don't think we should condemn or ridicule anybody who does it, and it shouldn't be illegal. Of course in hindsight it looks foolish, but many things we do are foolish.

  • AzTim Gilbert, AZ
    March 25, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    BASE jumping is selfishness at the core. The jumper puts his personal gratification from the thrill of the jump over his spouse and/or child who have an increased risk of becoming a widow or a fatherless child because of the jump.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    I guess I'm the only one that thinks it's pretty selfish for someone who has a wife and children at home to take such extraordinary risks with their lives? When you are single take all the risks you want, but when you have little ones at home counting on you coming home I think it's selfish to put your thrill seeking above the welfare of the people you brought into this world. I guess it's sad, but I have a bit of a hard time feeling sorry.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    To quote Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, "You cannot change the laws of physics." Doing a somersault off of a 400 foot cliff proved that. Sad for their loved ones that these people don't have more sense.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    I support their freedom to do dangerous stunts, but not when they are illegal.

    However, I really resent that we taxpayers will end up footing the bill to recover bodies, do investigations, etc. We need a law to pass such costs on to the estates or families of people who do this sort of stuff.

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    it wasn't about religion it is about receiving sound advice. chips should be on the ground not on the shoulder

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 25, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    Do we really need religious leaders to tell us that BASE jumping is dangerous?

    Certainly wise words, but is that council "religious"? Does it carry more weight if a church leader tells you than if your wise grandpa does?

    Is BASE jumping a Religious issue?

  • lledwards38 Canandaigua, NY
    March 25, 2014 5:22 a.m.

    I am sympathetic to the needs of people who defy death for the thrill of it all. But I do not understand fathers of young children who put their lives at risk for fun.

    Now there is an unborn child who will never know their daddy. That is the greatest tragedy of all.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    March 25, 2014 4:47 a.m.

    Its human nature that risk is part of our life. We can't stop it, we can't control it, we can't criminalize it. But risk should be value based to sustain a life. An infant learning to walk takes a risk, and child going up and down stairs is taking a risk, and children playing are taking risks so its human trait we can't deny as normal.

    How much pain a person is willing to endure is where they limit their risks socially. Then level of individuals skills and physical dexterity is not so equal. Experience is probably the most dangerous element that risk takers get hurt with. With experience comes complacency and disregard of equipment and safety condition.

    People are going to die and we cannot control it but they should not endanger others for taking risk that put others at risk without consent. No one knows their limits and nature can't predict it so we just bury those who lose while other seek the same risks.

    Americans are born to take risks for Freedoms and liberties that are a worthy risk, its our way of training to defend this country from oppression and invasion.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    March 24, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Condolences to the friends and family of these two most recently deceased BASE jumpers.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    Thanks for the wisdom on the increased odds of survival, makes me feel so much better. You are right in one respect, people have the right to be foolish; and I would never deny them of that.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:17 p.m.


    If I am not mistaken, you too, are Mormon. But, I understand you are taking a little time off from the church for the time being. I look forward to you coming back.

    However, you asked, "Why must you relate every story to your religion?" Did you see my comment was directed to Brave Sir Robin? Did you also know Brave Sir Robin is Mormon? So, I am a Mormon showing a Mormon apostle's counsel to another Mormon. Does that answer your question? As a reminder as well, Deseret News is Mormon-owned and lots of Mormons come here.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 24, 2014 8:25 p.m.


    Last time I checked there are people who have had their parachutes not open completely on a base jump. Some have survived that happening to them. So to say if the chute doesn't open, that's it, its over is kind of over kill. I understand the odds are slim of making it out alive after something goes wrong while base jumping. Either way, the body recovery teams/search and rescue have had to recover and rescue people doing all kinds of outdoor activities. Hikers get stranded on steep mountains, hunters get lost, atv riders crash. None of those have to pay the bill for the rescue teams. You can take all the precautions in the world and sometimes things happen. Let them do what they love, you and I can do the same as long as it doesn't hurt anybody but us.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    March 24, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    Of course these kinds of "accidents" will occur and occur again and again. There will be no stopping them due to the addictive thrill it is to participate in something as dangerous as this.

    These "accidents" are, of course, tragic to say the least, and we all feel horribly for the pain it inflicts upon their surviving families, friends, acquaintances and general public. But nothing makes them acceptable. Again, however, they will never stop for the reason mentioned above.

    But what should stop, I think, is for so much of the public and even news media who idolize this dangerous behavior consisting of solely "for the thrill of it."

  • Sandy Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    I'm terribly sorry for the loved ones these jumpers have left behind, but it just isn't right to foist the cost of rescue and recovery for this "adventuresomeness" onto those who would never engage in it or support it.

    Please get a grip, adventuring community. Propose a solution or it's certain one will be proposed for you. No insurance company in their right mind will insure you, so one thing you might collectively consider is pooling your resources to insure each other. Would you be willing to do that, so as to continue your fun while avoiding becoming a burden, never mind a sorrow and grief, when the occasional life is senselessly lost and family needlessly decimated?

  • fani wj, UT
    March 24, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    Death needs to be lucky once, a base jumper or sky diver need to be lucky 100% of the time -

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    March 24, 2014 5:45 p.m.

    "More people die on Utah roads (by a vast majority) than BASE jumping"
    Well, there are probably over a million drivers in Utah and if they were all BASE jumping multiple times every day, then there would be many more deaths. Oh, and by the way, if the parachute does not open, then you can't LIVE with the decision.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 24, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    Life is tenuous at best and anyone who drives a car along the freeways of the Wasatch front gets that feeling like you have very little control and your life is not your own.
    That is enough adrenaline for me.
    However, if people really want to take these kinds of risks. They should be free to do so. It is a free country.
    I just believe that if they are doing it they should have to have insurance that pays the tax payers back for their rescue or recovery.

  • ironmania San Diego, CA
    March 24, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    Everyone needs to know their limits. Activities that are safe for some may be deadly for others. I know of a musician who has gained fame in some circles merely because he was born with a heart defect. He decided that he needed to climb up Mt. Olympus in SLC to commemorate his brother's death. However, to pull off this stunt, he had to haul a whole team of medical professionals up the mountain with him, and even with that, he still almost died.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 24, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    It is so sad for the families of these guys. These guys are adults and they make their own decisions. You can't force your son or brother to be smart and use good judegment. Base jumping is playing with fire and eventually you WILL get burned. The problem with this sort of activity is there are no second chances. One mistake and your dead. One thing that goes wrong and your dead. The wind may blow you slighly off course and you die. No second chances. These sorts of crazy things should never ever happen but again you can't stop people from being stupid. The real issue here is the family left behind. The mom and dad who lost their sons. The wife who lost a husband. I'm an outdoorsman - I hike I bike I canoe I hunt but everything I do gives me a second chance. Base jumping should be banned.

    March 24, 2014 5:08 p.m.


    Thank You

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    March 24, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    I too appreciate that we all have personal choice. Hope that those who choose sports that they love and recognize that they may die to achieve their thrills do so with their survivors well provided for financially and emotionally. I also hope that rescuers' lives are not put in jeopardy. Else let their bodies lie in peace where they fall without depriving others of their family members.

    From the article: Despite BASE jumping accidents that have killed five of his friends in the past 12 months, Morroun's friend Peterson said he will continue to pursue the sport he loves.
    "None of the friends I've lost would want me to stop," he said. "It's a personal choice for everyone."

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 24, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    Re Brahmabull

    I'm not Catholic, but if a priest or a nun or the Pope says something wise, I will listen, I'd be foolish not to.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 24, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    Such risky behaviour puts others at risk trying to come to the aid of someone who is injured or trying to recover a body. There was a recent death when someone died jumping from an arch. His parents said it all. Think of your family.

  • Colorado Reader Littleton, CO
    March 24, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    There is a reason that this is illegal, yet experienced jumpers and even instructors do it all the time. Sad, but illegal is still illegal. And taxpayers will likely pay for it @belgie

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 24, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    Why must you relate every story to your religion? Most non-mormons don't care what a mormon apostle or prophet said regarding a certain activity. That is like me giving you a jewish quote about eating pork - it doesn't relate to you because you aren't jewish. Plus, it isn't doctrine, it is just his opinion on the matter.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    March 24, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    Belgie, you are not being insensitive; you're being rational. And, btw, we all pay for the rescue/recovery efforts of these folks who choose to take far greater risks than the rest of us.

  • KJR Alpine, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Can you blame them for being "adventurous?" Answer: YES. There are plenty of ways to be adventurous that do not involve a binary out come: you either live or die. I met a young woman who was left with four children, a mortgage, consumer debt, and a grieving heart because her husband loved free rock climbing. Apparently more than his family, because climbing, skydiving, and ultra light aircraft are generally exclusions from life insurance unless you buy the exorbitantly expensive riders. He didn't and his 500K policy yielded a nice round number - zero. Once a person has responsibilities to others, maybe they should look for alternate ways to have "adventures" where the "bad loutcome" is more likely to be a sprained ankle or a broken leg -- rather than a closed coffin.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    March 24, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    I hate to sound insensitive, but who pays for the rescue/recovery effort when stuff like this happens?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 24, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    Fear serves a purpose. It's trying to save my life. I check with my feelings first before I'm a dear devil. There's a thin line before the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

    Sad that things happen that was not expected. I feel for the family and friends for their loss.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 24, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin:

    Elder Bednar counseled against these kinds of activities, if you are curious to know. His counsel is in the June 2010 Ensign magazine under the title "Things as they Really Are." Here is a snippet from the talk:

    "For example, all of us can find enjoyment in a wide range of wholesome, entertaining, and engaging activities. But we diminish the importance of our bodies and jeopardize our physical well-being by going to unusual and dangerous extremes searching for an ever-greater and more exhilarating adrenaline 'rush.' We may rationalize that surely nothing is wrong with such seemingly innocent exploits and adventures. However, putting at risk the very instrument God has given us to receive the learning experiences of mortality—merely to pursue a thrill or some supposed fun, to bolster ego, or to gain acceptance—truly minimizes the importance of our physical bodies."

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 24, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    More people die on Utah's roads (by a vast majority) then die base jumping. Let those who want to test the limits test them and live with the results. Some people aren't content doing things that don't give them a rush. Can we really blame them for being adventurous?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    March 24, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Meh. Every activity carries some level of risk with it...this one just happens to carry more risk than most (and more than I am comfortable with). But that doesn't make it wrong. To each their own I guess...just don't make me clean the mess up.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    Gravity can be a Grave matter.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    March 24, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    I know these 'extreme sports' are a rush for people. One word to consider... "gravity"!

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    March 24, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    Good people, but with todays risk takers it is only a matter of time until a catastrophy occurs. They used to have a saying in my flying airplanes days that there are no OLD BOLD PILOTS. The same holds true today. Risk taking has its way of collecting it's dues sooner or later. Frfiends and family, sorry for your loss.