Mark van den Boogaard lay dead for more than a week as his parachute failed to open
Dutch police are investigating how the body of skydiver Mark van den Boogaard lay undetected in a field for more than a week.
Mark van den Boogaard was not reported missing and his body was discovered by chance by rabbit hunters. His parachute had failed to open.
He organized his jump with the largest skydiving club in the Netherlands.
But the club said it had not launched a search as it was not usual for skydivers to report back after their jump.
Police information officer Anton De Ronde said a local team had visited Mark van den Boogaard’s family to inform them, but that he was not close to any of his relatives – which is, the police believe, why no-one reported him missing.
Simon Woerlee, manager of the Nationaal Paracentrum skydiving club, in the village of Teuge in Gelderland province, described his members as “shocked”.
He described Mark van den Boogaard as “a friendly and happy man, but a loner, someone who did not really talk to anyone and was always on his own”.
He was self-employed, so no-one from work called to see why he was absent.
Mark van den Boogaard was a regular and relatively experienced skydiver, according to club records, completing approximately 120 jumps since joining up in summer 2011.
The Royal Netherlands Aeronautical Association is examining the equipment to try to work out why neither the main chute or the reserve chute opened.
Simon Woerlee of the parachute club said there was no system to make sure that a jump had been completed safely.
“We never check, there is no law, no regulations,” he said.
“They have tried it in America but it didn’t work. Sometimes people come back to the club for a cup of tea and a chat, but sometimes they just pack up and leave.
“If you are forced to find out where everyone is, there can be a big drama for nothing. You can call all the emergency rescue teams and helicopters, then discover the person is sitting at home having tea with his granddad – that has happened before.”
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