Navy SEAL Remington J. Peters of Colorado fell to his death Sunday when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration at Liberty State Park in New Jersey over the Hudson River.
Peters, 27, was a member of the Leap Frogs, an elite Navy parachute team, and was one of four parachutists in the demonstration at the park, which is across from Manhattan near the ferry location to the Statue of Liberty, according to the Denver Post. The malfunction in his parachute is under investigation by the Navy.
Nancy Malinowski, who was attending the demonstration and saw the empty parachute fall behind a building, said she didn’t think most people knew what had happened. "I’m terribly saddened," Malinowski said after learning from a firefighter that a parachutist had died, the Post reported.
Peters fell into the water and was immediately rescued by U.S. Coast Guard personnel standing by, and local fire department personnel also responded, but Peters was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center at 1:10 p.m., the Post reported.
Peters was a special warfare operator first class who had enlisted in 2008 and was a veteran of two combat deployments, NJ.com reported.
His family said in a statement that his accomplishments "far outweigh his years" and that he was "an angel on earth and role model to all," NJ.com reported. "We couldn’t be more proud of him. He lived life to the fullest and taught us to do the same."
Twitter users called his death tragic.
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