German thrill-seeker Dominik Loyen dies during BASE jump in Portugal | News | DW | 22.11.2018
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German thrill-seeker Dominik Loyen dies during BASE jump in Portugal

BASE jumper Dominik Loyen died after his parachute failed to open after his leap from a 100-meter cliff on the coast of Portugal. The German was a well-known daredevil and BASE jumping instructor.

BASE jumpers (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Audap)

BASE jumping is the most dangerous kind of parachuting

A failed jump claimed the life of Dominik Loyen, a noted figure in Germany's extreme sports scene, German media reported on Wednesday.

Loyen died after jumping from a 100-meter (330-foot) cliff in the Portuguese coastal city of Nazare. The incident, which was recorded on video, saw Loyen jump off together with another athlete. While the companion's parachute opens and allows him to land safely, Loyen continues his fall and hits the ground at full speed. The parachute only activates after the impact.

Attempts by Portuguese police to resuscitate the 50-year-old athlete were unsuccessful, according to mass-circulation Bild newspaper.

Read more: Wingsuit skydiver Alexander Polli 'terrified of dying'

'You worry about it and then decide to carry on anyway'

In 2014, DW broadcast a video about Loyen that showcased his cliff jumps in the Swiss region of Lauterbrunnen.

Watch video 12:07

Base Jumping-- Adrenaline Junkies in Free Fall

In it, the athlete talks about the importance of preparation before the jump. He later shares an experience about surviving a delayed parachute deployment.

"I landed, unharmed, on a snowfield at a 45-degree angle," he said.

Loyen also said he had considered giving up jumping.

"Yes, I had some thoughts about taking a break, or giving it up completely, when a good friend of mine had a fatal accident," he said in the video. "But then you deal with it, and somehow you have to do what you find fun. You worry about it and then decide to carry on anyway and you swear not to make the same mistakes."

From Switzerland to Portugal

Loyen was an experienced BASE jumping instructor. The acronym in the name of the extreme sport comes from locations used by athletes for parachute jumping: building, antenna, span and earth (or cliff). Statistically, it is one the deadliest extreme sports in the world.

Loyen moved to Switzerland in 2005 due to the country's lax regulations on BASE jumping. He also led a jumping school in Spain, according to the daily Der Westen.