Lifestyle & Belief

Greece: After telling girlfriend 'don't worry,' stricken British BASE jumper Jake Simkins dies


A cliff popular with BASE jumpers in Zante (Zakynthos) in Greece.



A British BASE jumper whose parachute caught on a cliff face during a jump on the Greek island of Zante (Zakynthos) phoned his pregnant girlfriend to tell her not to worry before plummeting nearly 200 feet to his death.

Jake Simkins, 41, from London, spoke to his partner — at a nearby hotel — and sent her text messages during the three hours he spent suspended from the cliff at Navagio, telling her to stay calm, the London Telegraph reported.

However, according to the Telegraph the rocks gave way and he fell.

The Daily Mirror reported that a gust of wind blew him to his death.

The paper said Simkins told his partner Anita that he had only injured his leg after hitting the cliff and asking her to beseech rescuers to "get a rope."

Meanwhile, a Dutch tourist who was on a nearby beach with his wife, Corne van der Eerden, told the BBC: “We heard a flapping sound and saw what we thought was a guy skydiving or parachuting. He crashed into the wall — it looked to be about 60 meters high. 

"I shouted out to him and he said he thought he had broken his leg. He said he had his mobile phone on him and was going to call his wife.

"I told him to be careful but he said he was going to hang on tight. Our boat arrived then, so my wife and I had to leave."

Friends of Simkins told the Mirror that the London Underground signal technician had completed more than 40 solo jumps — including three from Navagio beach, also known as Shipwreck Bay.

The paper also quoted Antonis Potamitis, who runs tour boats to the bay and knew Simkins, as saying he had repeatedly called the fire service and begged them to bring a specialist climbing team from Athens.

A Greek worker with Anita also contacted the emergency services, but crews failed to reach him in time. "Surely three hours was enough time for the fire service to find a rope and get it to him?" she reportedly said.

BASE stands for the four points from which extreme sportspeople like Simkins can leap: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs).