QUEBEC CITY — A Quebec City police officer died in North Carolina on Monday during a botched high-risk parachuting manoeuvre.
Sgt. Philippe De Blois, 35, died on his first day of training for a skydiving competition in Raeford.
He apparently made a technical error while "swooping," a low altitude dive in which skydivers glide along just above the ground and do high-speed tricks prior to landing.
The airport says De Blois was making a 180-degree turn to pick up speed and skim a landing pond when he crashed. It was his second jump of the day.
His friends accompanied him to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Friend Dominic Chaput said De Blois was an experienced skydiver.
"He was very powerful but not someone who was reckless," Chaput said. "But mistakes are unforgiving. It's a sport that's riskier than traditional parachuting."
News of De Blois' death sent waves of grief through the police force in Quebec City. His pregnant girlfriend is also an officer on the force.