A Navy parachutist died on Sunday after his chute would not open during a Fleet Week show demonstration over the Hudson River in New York City.
The SEAL, who will not be identified until his family is notified, crashed into the water near Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. shortly after noon. The member of a Navy parachute team called the Leap Frogs was rescued by Jersey City Fire Department's Marine unit on standby and the Coast Guard, and taken to the Liberty Marina before he was pronounced dead at the Jersey City Medical Center at 1:10 p.m.
Photographer Joe Shine, who witnessed the incident, told NJ.com that after the SEAL realized his parachute wasn't operating properly, he cut himself loose with the hopes of landing in the Hudson River. Another spectator Juan Marin commented on the matter, telling WCBS, "Considering I have a son in the military ... somebody's got to report that back to their family, and it's horrible."
The parachute ended up landing in the Jersey City parking lot where it was retrieved by Coast Guard personnel.
Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, Commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic released a brief statement, offering his condolences to the SEAL's family and his community. "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," he said.
According to NJ.com, an investigation to determine what led to the parachute's malfunction is already underway.