Skydive instructor dies during jump

February 2, 2009 8:50:18 AM PST
A Georgia-based soldier says his military training helped him land safely on his first skydiving jump after the instructor he was tethered to died from an apparent heart attack as they parachuted over South Carolina. Daniel Pharr says he knew something was wrong when George Steele stopped answering his questions after their parachute deployed Saturday afternoon. They jumped from 13,500 feet.

Pharr says he didn't panic because of his Army training, and he knew from watching television to use the parachute toggles to steer.

The 25-year-old, stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., says the nonmilitary jump at Skydive Carolina was a Christmas gift from his girlfriend.

Pharr says he tried unsuccessfully to revive Steele with CPR when they landed.

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