Singapore

Singaporean skydiving victim was afraid of heights

Singaporean man killed near Sydney was 'adventurous', but father says son was not one to skydive

The Singaporean man who was killed in a skydiving accident near Sydney, Australia, last Saturday was adventurous but had a fear of heights, said his family.

Mr Mario Low Ke Wei, 29, and his skydiving instructor, Mr Adrian Lloyd, had crashed onto a driveway on a property about a kilometre from the intended landing point in an open field after a 4,200m-high dive operated by Sydney Skydivers.

They are believed to have died on impact.

Mr Low's sister, believed to be living in Luxembourg, told The Daily Telegraph that she hopes the police would find out the cause of the accident.

"I always thought a tandem jump is safe. We need a closure to this," she said.

In tandem skydiving, the student is connected to a harness attached to the instructor.

Their father, Mr Low Ah Buay, told Shin Min Daily News: "He didn't tell us that he was going to go skydiving, otherwise I would have stopped him.

"My daughter is still overseas and is on her way back. We will likely wait for her to return before we all fly to Sydney together.

"I still don't believe the victim is my son. I don't understand why he would go skydiving. He is afraid of heights."

A friend, who declined to be named and works in Sydney, told The Straits Times that the younger Mr Low was working or going to work in investment bank Credit Suisse there.

She had met him briefly for the first time just two to three weeks ago.

She said: "He struck me as someone who is very sensible and knows what he is doing, not a wilful person. He was keen to travel around, to go to different places. We were also talking about taking him to the Blue Mountains."

'ATHLETIC'

His former Maris Stella High School classmate, Mr Clinton Zheng, 29, who works in a venture capital group, said: "He was always fit, adventurous and jovial. He was very athletic and always physically the fittest among our peers."

Mr Low's Facebook page shows that he had worked for Credit Suisse here and studied at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and was also a fishing enthusiast.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here said it is "deeply saddened" by the accident. He said the High Commission in Canberra is in contact with the family to provide consular assistance.

Meanwhile, Sydney Skydivers cancelled all jumps yesterday out of respect for the victims.

It said in a statement on Facebook yesterday that this was its first fatality involving a "first orientation tandem skydive", and Mr Lloyd, who is in his 60s, had made more than 10,000 jumps in his 30-year career.

It also said in its statement that the pair were on a routine leap that "was not especially challenging for a highly experienced instructor... the jump was from normal height, and it is not yet clear what occurred".

Asked whether it had been in contact with Mr Low's family, it told ST it was not commenting beyond its statement.

Media reports said the firm had four other fatalities in the past 16 years.

The police are investigating the accident, which occurred at Wilton, a town about 85km south-west of Sydney. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JONATHAN PEARLMAN

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