Published: February 11, 2016
Is Tandem Skydiving Safe?
Each year, nearly a half million people across the U.S. successfully jump out of an airplane for the first time on tandem skydives.
For more than three decades, tandem jumping has given millions of people the opportunity to easily experience the thrill of a lifetime while strapped to a certified tandem instructor. The U.S. Parachute Association and tandem equipment manufacturers have certification programs in place to ensure that only qualified, experienced skydivers can become tandem instructors and that anyone who earns a tandem instructor rating receives proper training and understands the procedures for correctly fitting and securing tandem student harnesses. Incidents can happen, as they do in any sport. However, the sport of skydiving maintains an impressive safety record.
By The Numbers
The sport of skydiving continues to improve its safety record. In 2014, the USPA (United States Parachute Association) recorded 24 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.2 million jumps. That's 0.0075 fatalities per 1,000 jumps-among the lowest rate in the sport's history! Tandem skydiving has an even better safety record, with 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 tandem jumps over the past decade. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee.
In the 1970s, the sport averaged 42.5 skydiving fatalities per year. Since then, the average has dropped each decade. In the 1980s, the average was 34.1; in the 1990s, the average was 32.3, and in the first decade of the new millennium (2000-2009), the average dropped again to 25.8. Over the past five years, the annual average continues its decline to 22.6.
The U.S Parachute Association has affiliated skydiving centers across the country that have agreed to follow USPA's safety rules and recommendations and use only USPA-rated instructors. These centers should conduct tandem skydiving in a professional manner and make the safety of the tandem student their top priority.(unfortunately not all do) For anyone interested in making a first skydive, Skydive Newport strongly recommends you do your research before choosing a location to skydive. Your safety always is a primary concern. Skydive Newport boasts to have an impeccable safety record.......second to none.
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