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American BASE Jumper Plummets To His Death During Extreme Sports Event In Turkey

SACRAMENTO (CBS Sacramento) -- A death-defying leap turned tragic for an American BASE jumper.

Ian Flanders, a 37-year-old BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer from Southern California, died during an extreme sports event in Turkey.

BASE jumpers climb to fixed positions high in the sky and leap, using a parachute to break their fall.

During his last jump, Flanders' parachute lines got tangled around his legs as he plummeted to his death at the Karasu gorge.

CBS News reports his death was captured on live television, as the event was being broadcast by a local station.

Flanders spoke to the Turkish television station before his death.

"It was a gorgeous flight, a beautiful view of the town. You get to kind of fly over the town," he said, according to CBS News. "We landed in the river, which was also actually kind of fun.

CBS News reports Flanders was the 264th BASE jumper to die since records began being kept.

"The BASE jumping and, especially the wingsuit community, is facing a real epidemic right now," Grayson Schaffer, editor of Outside magazine, told CBS News. "Wingsuiters are dying at a rate unheard of in any other sport. It seems like not a month goes by without a well-known BASE jumper or wing-suit flyer dying these days."

Schaffer added, "At the time of his death, Flanders was actually working on a documentary about all the deaths that have been happening in the BASE world, and … it's just an incredible tragedy that he would die this way.

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