I am devastated to say that Dean Potter has died.
The details are still pretty sketchy, but it looks like he and long-time BASE jumping partner Graham Hunt died in an extreme manoeuvre after jumping off a 7,500 foot promontory called Taft Point, which overlooks Yosemite – a long-time favourite jumping spot for Potter – who set several records at the spot.
The accident appears to have happened on Saturday evening, when their spotter heard two distinctive sounds, originally believed to be either the two parachutes opening or, more ominously, the impact of the men.
Unfortunately, the latter was true. An aerial search of the area turned up the mens’ bodies today. Their parachutes had not opened.
Potter’s dog, Whisper, was not with them. She’s fine, though it’s safe to say she’ll never be the same.
I regret that I never got a chance to interview Dean. I thought about emailing him after my recent post about ‘When Dogs Fly‘, but I didn’t. Regrettably, that’s never going to happen.
Yet, despite this tragedy, I am reminded of Bodhi’s famous sagely words that came before he sealed his own fate the way he wanted to:
It’s not tragic to die doing what you love.
Remember that, always. Be at peace, Dean Potter.