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Wingsuit Flights Claim Two Lives

YOSEMITE – Two men were killed in an accident on Saturday, May 16, after BASE jumping in wingsuits from from Taft Point in Yosemite.

The bodies of Graham Hunt, 29, and Dean Potter, 43, were recovered on Sunday, May 17, by Yosemite Search and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol after they were reported missing the night before.

Yosemite National Park spokesman Scott Gediman confirmed the news on Sunday.

Climbing.com reports say Hunt and Potter took a wingsuit flight in succession from the promontory overlooking Yosemite Valley. Each died after impacting the rock wall while attempting to navigate the flight. Their parachutes reportedly did not open.

Graham Hunt was a regular in Yosemite, an accomplished climber, and said to be a long-time flying partner of Dean Potter’s. Potter was a rock star in the climbing world and beyond, having broken records in speed, solo climbing, and for the longest wingsuit flight. Potter was famous for high-line walks, BASE jumping, and including his dog Whisper in some of his adventures in flight.

Both Hunt and Potter lived near Yosemite and were well known and loved in the community.

The term BASE jumping refers to parachuting from a fixed structure, and the activity is illegal in Yosemite National Park. An investigation into the deaths is ongoing, Gediman said.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

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Sierra News Online

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