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The family of the Singaporean man who was killed in a skydiving accident in Sydney last Saturday (July 15), has revealed that he had acrophobia, the fear of heights, despite being an adventurous individual.
It was earlier reported that the victim, 29-year-old Mario Low Ke Wei, and his skydiving instructor, Adrian Lloyd had been doing a 4,200m-high tandem skydive but fell onto the driveway of a property about 1km from the intended landing point.
They were believed to have died on impact, and footage of the bodies revealed that the parachutes had been partially or fully deployed.
Mr Low’s father, Low Ah Buay told Shin Min Daily News: "He (Mario) didn’t tell us that he was going skydiving, or I would have stopped him.
"My daughter is on her way home, and we'll wait for her to return before we fly to Sydney together.
"I still cannot believe that it was my son who died. I don’t understand why he would go skydiving, even. He’s afraid of heights.”
A friend of the deceased told The Straits Times that Mario had started working or was preparing to start work at an investment bank, Credit Suisse in Sydney,
The Straits Times reports that the two had just met two to three weeks ago.
She added: "He struck me as someone who's very sensible and knows what he's doing, not a wilful person.
"He was very keen to travel to different places. We were also talking about taking him to the Blue Mountains in Sydney."
A former classmate of the deceased from Maris Stella High School, Mr Clinton Zheng, described the victim as a person who loved the outdoors.
He said: "He was always very fit and athletic, adventurous and jovial. Physically, he was the fittest among our peers."
A spokesman for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affair said that it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the incident, and that the Singapore High Commission in Canberra is in contact with the deceased’s family to provide consular assistance.
Out of respect for the victims, Sydney Skydivers, the company which organised the session that the victim had been on, cancelled all jumps yesterday (July 16).
It also said in a Facebook statement that the incident was the first fatality involving a ‘first orientation tandem skydive’.
It mentioned the instructor, Mr Lloyd’s stellar records, having made over 10,000 jumps in his 30-year career.
The local media, however, reported that four other fatalities had happened over the last 16 years for the company.
Sydney Skydivers also clarified that the pair had been on a routine jump which ‘wasn’t especially challenging for a highly experienced instructor’ and that ‘the jump was from a normal height’.
It ended the message, saying that ‘it is not yet clear what occurred’.
The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by the police.