Antonis Potamitis, who runs tour boats to the bay and had collectedMr Simkins following other jumps, said he had repeatedly called thefire service and begged them to bring a specialist climbing teamfrom Athens. He added: ‘It was a terrible tragedy. Jake was a really goodman, and knew what he was doing, but somehow ended up on the rocks. ‘I asked the local fire chief to call for specialist back up,but he wouldn't listen. |
‘And even though three hours passed and he was hanging 70metres above the rocks, they didn't even get a rope down. Howis that possible?' Mr Simkins was pronounced dead after his fall on Friday evening.His partner was taken to hospital suffering from shock, althoughshe was discharged on Sunday and his since flown back to Britain. The pair were hoping to get married following the birth of theirchild. A local on the island said: ‘She was in complete shock.
Shecould hardly speak for the first day. But then it is to beexpected. She came on holiday with her partner, and she leftwithout him.' Mr Simkins' partner was too upset to speak yesterday when sheanswered the door of his family home in north London. Friends said Mr Simkins, who worked as a signal technician forLondon Underground, was an experienced base-jumper who hadundertaken more than 40 solo jumps.
He had also parachuted down to Navagio beach – known as‘shipwreck bay – on three occasions before his fatalfall. Base-jumping is an extreme sport in which participants leap from afixed point before using a parachute at the last minute to breaktheir fall. The word ‘base' is an acronym of the four points fromwhich they can leap: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and earth(cliffs). Before his trip to Greece, Mr Simkins posted a message on Facebook,writing: ‘Can't wait.
June can't come quickenough!' A Dutch tourist who witnessed the accident said the parachuteseemed stuck on the rocks. Corne van der Eerden said: ‘We heard a flapping sound and sawwhat we thought was a guy sky-diving or parachuting. He crashedinto the wall. ‘I shouted out to him and he said he thought he had brokenhis leg.
‘He said he had his mobile phone on him and was going to callhis wife. I told him to be careful but he said he was going to hangon tight.' A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ‘Wecan confirm the death of a British national on June 8 in Greece. Weare providing consular assistance to the family.'.
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