Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner rules sky divers' deaths accidental

ZEPHYRHILLS — The two sky divers whose bodies were recovered over the weekend died of blunt force trauma, the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office said Monday.

The report ruled the deaths of the men — student Andrimar Pordarson, 25, and instructor Orvar Arnarson, 40, both from Iceland — as accidental.

Pasco Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said the circumstances of the deaths also point toward accident.

"I see no suggestion of foul play in the entire case," Doll said.

The men were visiting Florida on a skydiving trip from Iceland and jumped on Saturday morning from Skydive City in Zephyrhills. After Pasco deputies and Zephyrhills police spent several hours searching, deputies in a helicopter spotted the bodies at 7:30 p.m. Saturday off Yonkers Road, south of the Zephyr­hills Municipal Airport.

The investigation is ongoing.

Each man was equipped with a main parachute and a backup designed to trigger at 700 feet if the main chute fails, Skydive City manager David T.K. Hayes said. The backups deployed, but apparently did not pop open to inflate, he said.

Neither jumper used gear from Skydive City. Each packed his own parachutes, Hayes said.

Jim Crouch, director of safety and training at the U.S. Parachute Association, said parachute-packing rules differ based on the origin of the equipment.

Laws require reserve parachutes made in America to be packed by someone certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, he said. If the equipment is from another country, the regulations defer to that country's laws for packing parachutes.

Hayes said his team checked the gear of every jumper nonetheless. The Icelanders' gear met safety requirements of the FAA, he said.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the agency was not sure if the men packed their own parachutes, but will be investigating.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has taken as evidence a video shot from a camera mounted to one of the men's helmets, but is not releasing the video, citing the investigation.

Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner rules sky divers' deaths accidental 03/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: A proud moment for civic involvement in Hillsborough County

    Editorials

    It took private citizens less than 24 hours to do what their elected leaders in Hillsborough County could not for the past three months: Find the moral fortitude and the money to move a century-old Confederate war memorial from outside the county courthouse. Thursday's achievement was a lesson in leadership to county …

    The Hillsborough County Commission dithered for three months over moving the Memoria in Aeterna monument from the old county courthouse.
  2. Fort Myers woman arrested for doing cocaine off iPhone in parent pick-up line

    Bizarre News

    A Fort Myers woman was arrested Tuesday after police saw her snorting cocaine off her iPhone while in the parent pick-up line at a Lee County middle school.

    Christina Hester, 39, faces two different drug-related charges, according to police records. [Lee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  4. Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law

    Editorials

    The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It's time for the Pinellas County School …

  5. Editorial: Fix funding unfairness in Florida foster care system

    Editorials

    Many of the children in Florida's foster care system already have been failed by their parents. The last thing these kids need is to be failed by bureaucracy, too, and yet that's exactly what appears to be happening because of a needlessly rigid funding formula set up by the Florida Legislature. Child welfare agencies …

    The Legislature may have had good intentions when it came up with the funding plan, but it’s obvious that there is some unfairness built into it. The funding may be complicated, but the goal is simple: Making sure every child in need gets the help he or she needs.