Kiwi base jumper's family pay tribute

Last updated 18:02 11/07/2012
"LEGEND": Alan McCandlish, 31, was jumping with friends when he struck the cliff face and fell at 10.40am Saturday near Berner Oberland, about 200 kilometres southwest of Zurich.

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The parents of a New Zealand base jumper who died in Switzerland at the weekened say their son was incredibly "safety conscious" in one of the world's most dangerous sports.

31-year-old Alan McCandlish was three weeks into a two-month trip through Europe when a jump went wrong as a wind drift pushed him into a cliff edge.

Onlookers said McCandlish, who was wearing a wingsuit, hit a rock ledge before plummeting to the ground.

Witnesses alerted rescue services, but he was dead when crews found him, Swiss police said.

The fatal fall happened on the 2500-metre-high peak Unteren Tatelishorn, about 200km southwest of Zurich.

It is near Lauterbrunnen, one of the deadliest peaks in the world for base-jumpers with at least 28 deaths recorded.

Richard and Sue McCandlish said their son's pursuits in the sport he loved were an inspiration to the family.

"Our son Alan was a humble man who loved his family, his base jumping family and his passion for adventure sports. He knew the risks involved in base jumping and was confident in his abilities as well as being very safety conscious.

"Alan's focus on doing what he loved was inspiring to us all and we will miss him tremendously."

In a statement on behalf of the family, they said they wanted to thank everyone for their "wonderful support" since the accident.

"We feel very grateful for the messages of support and sympathy from friends and family during this very difficult and sad time.

"We now ask that the media respect our privacy to make arrangements for his return home and for his funeral."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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