They Fell From the Skies and Lived to Tell the Tale

Fellow Brit Paul Lewis, 40, a skydive cameraman, got video of his Aug. 14, 2009 fall on a 10,000-foot skydive over Shropshire, England. He told the media he became fearful and "resigned to dying" after struggling in vain with his snarled parachute.

"I didn't shout out goodbye mum or dad, or anything like that," he told the British newspaper News of the World, which ran video of his fall soon after it happened. "I just looked at the ground and quite calmly said, 'It's all over.' ... And I shut my eyes -- and blacked out."

An airplane hangar roof broke his fall and he suffered no broken bones, according to accounts.

Unlike many others whose recent air sport outings went wrong, Lewis declared himself done with skydiving.

"I'll never need that much luck again," the skydive cameraman told the paper. "I'm selling my parachute equipment and my camera gear."

James Boole: Base Jumper Felt 'No Glory' During Fall

Far more who have fallen seem unready to swear off their hobbies entirely.

James Boole of Britain was gliding off an Italian mountain in a "wing suit" in late March, according to Britain's Sun newspaper, less than a year after jumped out of a helicopter in Russia's Kamchatka region last year.

But unlike Russia in April 2009, he landed safely.

Boole, 31 at the time of his accident, was filming fellow jumpers on a 6,000-foot leap when he did not get a signal to deploy his parachute in time.

"I did not panic or freak out," the Guardian newspaper quoted him saying in May 2009. "In those two seconds, I just thought of my wife and young baby and the sadness of not seeing them again plus the loneliness of my death. ... There was no Hollywood moment of my life flashing in front of me as I fell. There was no glory that jumpers sometimes fantasize about if they are facing death."

Boole hit a snowdrift at approximately 90 mph, according to the Guardian. He had broken his back, at least one rib and some teeth, and also badly injured his lung, according to reports.

"For the first 48 hours after the accident I thought maybe I am dead and this is some kind of afterlife limbo, or some other reality," the Independent newspaper quoted him saying.

Though he did not quit jumping, he told reporters he would give up filming as he made his jumps.

Other survivors also see life a little differently since their falls.

Said Walz: "I smile more, laugh more and thank God every day for saving my life and being able to enjoy such a beautiful place we are at for such a short time."

Though Rick West was the observer on his future wife's fall, he said it's changed him, too: "It makes me grateful for life, for what I do have. I have two beautiful children, a beautiful life, a great job [in the military]. ... I'm glad to have another day."

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