Published: 09:47, 29 April 2019
| Updated: 09:49, 29 April 2019
A BASE jumper is this week planning to leap off the same cliff where he escaped death by mere inches only four months ago.
A huge emergency response was scrambled to the coast on Friday, December 28, to treat the 27-year-old who miraculously only suffered injuries to his vertebrae and pelvis.
He was airlifted by coastguard helicopter to the top of the cliff at St Margaret’s Bay, before being transferred to an air ambulance and flown to Kings College Hospital in London.
BASE jumping, which stands for building, antenna, span, and earth, is the act of throwing yourself off fixed objects and is thought to be among the most dangerous forms of sport.
"You've got to get back on the horse - if you fall off, you don't just walk away from it," he said.
"It's been a fairly quick recovery and I'm feeling absolutely fine, I even stopped taking pain-killers while in hospital at the end of January.
"I've been going to the gym a lot and doing plenty of swimming to build up my strength, so it's definitely time - I'm hoping to get down there at some point this week."
During the incident at the end of last year, Mr Smith, who lives in Tovil, had thrown open his pilot chute downwards, rather than upwards, meaning the parachute did not open as quickly as it should have done.
As a result, he claimed, he had less than two-and-half seconds to react to the malfunction in order to try and avoid tragedy.
He said: "There was nothing I could do, the ground was coming towards me and I really thought I was going to die - if it had opened a millisecond later, I'd have been dead."
More by this authorTom Pyman