A WEST Cork man has died following an accident while base jumping from the Cliffs of Moher at the weekend.
Malcolm Rowley, a 45-year-old construction worker from Bantry, died while attempting a 700-foot jump off the cliffs on Saturday.
Base jumping is an extreme sport where people jump from large heights before deploying a parachute or using a wingsuit to land safely.
It is believed that his parachute malfunctioned or may have snagged on the way down following the jump.
Mr Rowley is understood to have been an experienced base jumper and extreme sports enthusiast who travelled extensively to take part in jumps.
He was one of a group of three at the cliffs at the time, one of whom had already made a successful jump while the other waited at the top.
Emergency services were called to Aill Na Searrach, the tallest point of the Cliffs of Moher, at 7am. An ambulance from Ennis and a paramedic unit from Ennistymon responded immediately, followed by the Irish Coast Guard, who sent a team from Doolin and dispatched the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter. The Coast Guard team were able to access the scene from water as the sea was calm, and the helicopter was able to hover close by. Similar rescue missions at the site have taken up to six hours due to difficulties in access.
Gardaí are investigating the accident, and a file will be prepared for the county coroner.
In April 2000, two people were killed and one was seriously injured at the same site during a fundraising abseil for a Cork charity.
Base jumping is when people jump from a fixed structure or cliff wearing a parachute or wingsuit.
It’s understood the first man completed a safe jump, however tragedy struck for Mr Rowley.
It wasn't immediately clear whether his parachute failed to open or deployed too late for the man to land safely.