Daniel Levi Cave (photo: KING-TV, Seattle)
A first-time skydiver who survived a 3,500-foot plunge to Earth after his parachute failed to open properly says he experienced extraordinary comfort as he prayed on the way down.
Daniel Levi Cave, speaking from his hospital room in Seattle yesterday, told the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer he made a last-minute plea to God.
“I said, ‘OK, well, I trust you, I believe in you, and if there’s any way, I’d love to see my family again, so help me out here.’
Cave continued: “And I just felt – I got to say, I just felt like the biggest hug in the world and just this warm embrace. It was the most amazing thing ever. And at that point, I thought, either way, this is going to turn out good, so, and here I am. I don’t know how.”
Cave, who was trying to land last week at the Bremerton airport, across Puget Sound from Seattle, came away with only a broken leg, broken jaw and some internal injuries.
He was attempting a static line jump in which the skydiver is attached to the plane with a tether that automatically pulls the rip cord.
But Cave, 26, said he immediately began spinning in circles at a speed of about 50 miles per hour, preventing him from controlling the chute.
Remarkably, officials say, he hit a soft patch of ground, saving his life.
Cave said he remembers seeing an airplane hanger, chainlink fence and container trailers.
“I’m not sure exactly what all I hit on the way down or if I hit the ground directly,” he said. “I still have yet to find that information out … .”
Cave, who appeared on the “Today” show with his wife Machel, said his first dive also was his last.
He told KING-TV in Seattle, “How I lived … I can’t explain why I’m not just mush.”