Extreme athlete killed in Yosemite base-jump accident

May 19, 2015 12:09
Dean Potter seen diving off the edge of Enshi Canyon in a wingsuit in 2012. The famed rock climber and adventurer died in a tragic accident Saturday at the Yosemite National Park. Photo: China News/Rex Shutterstock

Extreme sports may provide huge thrill but they also come at a high degree of risk to the participants.

This reality has hit home again for high-octane adventure seekers following a tragic accident in the United States over the weekend. 

Dean Potter, one of America's best known rock climbers and adventurers, died in a wingsuit accident at the Yosemite National Park in California on Saturday.

Potter, 43, was the creator of "freebase", a hybrid extreme sport that combines rock climbing without ropes and skydiving.

He crashed after leaping from Taft Point, a 914-metre cliff at Yosemite. His fellow base jumper Graham Hunt, 29, also died in the attempt.

A friend called search and rescue officials Saturday night when the pair failed to return from their jump.

Their bodies were recovered Sunday morning with the assistance of park rangers and a California highway patrol helicopter. Neither of the men appeared to have deployed their parachutes.

Potter and Hunt, who lived near Yosemite, were regular climbers in the park.

Potter began his rise to fame by making solo ascents of some of Yosemite's most difficult rock faces. He also has performed spectacular tightrope walks between park peaks, USA Today noted.

However, base jumping is illegal in Yosemite.

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