London - Thousands watched in horror as a Red Devil parachutist plummeted from the sky when his chute failed to open during an air show in Britain yesterday, but broke into applause after he was saved in a daring mid-air catch by a teammate.
People on the ground did not realise anything was amiss until the soldier from the army freefall display team started kicking violently as he hurtled towards the ground after his parachute became tangled during the Whitehaven Air Show, reported the Daily Mail.
But in a deft manoeuvre, his teammate managed to catch the soldier and wrap his legs around the parachute, holding his colleague's weight until they landed in the water at Queens Dock on the Cumbrian coast, in the northwest of England.
Ms Lucy Milne, who was watching the display, said: "He was violently kicking his legs and he was trying to get free or trying to manoeuvre. Above him was another man tangled up in his parachute. His parachute was collapsed. They started picking up speed and he was wiggling his legs even more.
"It seemed to go on for ages and it's just seeing the panic of everyone around you... And then all of a sudden, he just started to go really quick and everyone was holding their breath and then all of a sudden, they were in the water.
"Everyone was staring at the water for ages waiting for them both to pop up and then when eventually they did, everyone clapped."
A message on the show's Facebook page said both were all right, reported the BBC.
It said: "We can confirm that the Red Devil parachutists are both safe and sound. For the first time in 25 years, they had a parachute fail."
An army spokesman said it was investigating the incident.