Body recovered from BASE jump accident

Posted: March 27, 2014 by kirisyko in Base Jumping, SykOtic
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ZION NATIONAL PARK — The body of a man who died in a BASE jumping accident was recovered from Zion National Park Tuesday, according to park services.

Sean “Stanley” Leary, 38, was an experienced BASE jumper and world-class rock climber. He leaves behind a wife who is 6 months pregnant with their first child.

Leary, a California native, had planned to BASE jump from West Temple on March 13 and then go rock climbing the next day, but never showed up to climb on March 14, investigators said. Family members were alerted to the possibility that he may be missing on March 22 when the rental car company he was using called to say he had failed to return his car.

“He jumped off of West Temple and was kind of flying between West Temple and the Three Marys when something went wrong,” she said. “He ended up on top of one of the side’s of the Three Marys, which is really a precarious area to get to, but we were able to get to him.”

Park services were able to safely recover the body with the use of a helicopter Tuesday. The area the body was located in is difficult to access by helicopter because of tough terrain and cross winds, so park services initially estimated it could take several days to conduct the recovery.

Search and rescue teams from Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park worked together to retrieve the body. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, Baltrus said.

He jumped off of West Temple and was kind of flying between West Temple and the Three Marys when something went wrong.

–Aly Baltrus


Leary’s accomplishments as a rock climber, BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot included multiple speed records at Yosemite and first ascents in multiple countries, according to his website. He also worked as a stuntman and rigger.

BASE jumping is illegal in Zion National Park, but this is the second BASE jump-related death that has occurred in the park since February. Amber Marie Bellows, 28, died while base jumping with her husband of two weeks on Feb. 8.

“We really hope people will stop BASE jumping here,” Baltrus said. “Most of these BASE jumpers are actually really experienced — they are trained, they know what they’re doing — it’s just a small thing going wrong that can really have devastating effects.”

She said often people will think about taking the risk themselves, but not about the danger it can create for people working on the search and rescue teams.

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