This popular YouTube video which is about surviving when jumping from a plane with the parachute failing says at 1:03:

You're looking for 3 things: Swamps, snow, trees. Your best chance of surviving is to land in one of those 3. Just stay away from water. Whatever you do, don't land in the water!

I was able to find instances of people having survived such falls when landing in snow. But has anyone survived landing in a swamp?

  • Since people have survived in just water, I'm not sure this question has much relevance.
    – Fizz
    Oct 28, 2017 at 18:48
  • 2
    Anyway, try aiming for a mound of fire ants.
    – Fizz
    Oct 28, 2017 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


Maybe. Free-falling in a swamp and on his instructor saved one client (David Meek) in a tandem jump, but the instructor (Jim Horak) died... although not right away. It took hours for them to be found by emergency services in the swampland. The fall was from 15,000 ft; the primary parachute tangled, and the secondary failed to deploy.

Also, Yulia Yevdokimenko, survived falling into "a swampy river with the depth of 0.5 m (1.6 ft)" from 800 m (2,620 ft) after her parachute failed to open.

One of the earliest cases of survival recorded in some detail (mentioned in a review paper):

In 1885, an English woman was reported to have survived a fall from a 250-foot-high suspension bridge. Her survival was attributed to "her voluminous dress and petticoat acting as a parachute" and the fact that she landed on a mud bank.

the original source cited in the paper for this case is the 1977 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records. It turns out the paper is talking about Sarah Ann Henley.

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