SINGAPORE - The Singaporean man who was killed during a tandem skydive in Australia is believed to have recently moved to Sydney for work.
The man, together with his instructor, had crashed onto a driveway on a property outside the city on Saturday (July 15) at about 2pm, after a 4,200m-high dive.
The Straits Times understands that the Singaporean man is Mr Mario Low Ke Wei, 29.
From his Facebook account, he appeared to have been working for investment bank Credit Suisse, and was an old boy from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Maris Stella High School. He was also a fishing enthusiast.
His godfather Mel Joseph wrote on Facebook on Saturday night: “He’s just moved to Sydney barely a month ago to start work there. He’s too young and too good a man to go so soon.” He declined to speak to ST.
Mr Low's father, Low Ah Buay, told Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily: “He didn’t tell us that he was going to go skydiving, otherwise I would have stopped him. My daughter is still overseas and is on her way back. We’ll probably wait for her to return, before we all fly to Sydney together. I still can’t believe that the victim is my son.”
The older Mr Low also said his son was afraid of heights, and did not know why the son would go skydiving.
A friend, who declined to be named and works in Sydney, told ST that the younger Mr Low was working or going to start work in Credit Suisse there. She had met him briefly for the first time just two to three weeks ago, after someone else linked them up.
She said: “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 around, to go to different places. We were also talking about taking him to the Blue Mountains in Sydney.”
His former secondary school classmate Clinton Zheng, 29, who often played basketball with him, said: “He was always a very fit, adventurous and jovial person. He was very athletic and always physically the fittest among our peers.”
Previous reports said he was in his 20s and held an Australian work visa.
A spokesman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is "deeply saddened" by the accident, and added that the High Commission in Canberra is in contact with the Singaporean's family to render consular assistance.
The company that operates the tandem skydive, Sydney Skydivers, said it will close on Sunday (July 16) due to the incident.
"This is the first fatality involving a first orientation Tandem skydive the company has had in over 40 years of operation and is an extremely rare incident," it said in a statement on their Facebook page.
The company also added that the tandem skydive was "not especially challenging" for the instructor - who was in his 60s - as he had done nearly 10,000 skydives and had over 20 years' experience.
"The jump was from normal height and it is not yet clear what occurred," it added.
The company also said it is providing support to their staff, skydivers and those involved at the scene. "Our sympathies go out to the families and friends of both men as well as those in our skydiving community," it said.
Police are investigating the cause of the tragedy, which occurred at Wilton, a town about 85km south-west of Sydney.
According to previous reports, the bodies were discovered by a family, who arrived home to find them dead in their driveway which was about 1km from the intended landing point in an open field. Television footage taken by helicopter from above the driveway where the men landed showed the parachutes, and indicated that they opened either partially or in full. ABC News in Australia said the skydiving firm had six fatalities in 16 years.
Mr Low is believed to have died on impact, as did the instructor.