Ian Flanders, American BASE Jumper, Dies in Televised Jump in Turkey

Ian Flanders, American BASE Jumper, Dies in Televised Jump in Turkey
Ian Flanders in Turkey on Tuesday, before his fatal accident
AA Video/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

07/23/2015 AT 08:10 AM EDT

Tragedy has once again struck the extreme sport of BASE jumping, as American climber and jumper Ian Flanders died Tuesday in a fall during a televised event in Turkey.

Flanders, 27, seemed to get tangled in his parachute cord as he leaped out from a rocky cliff over the Karasu, a river in eastern Turkey. Video from a local TV station showed Flanders crashing into the cliff, reports CBS News.

Rescue boats retrieved his body, and he was pronounced dead soon thereafter.

After an earlier successful jump, Flanders was beaming in an interview with TV reporters. "It was a gorgeous flight, it's a beautiful view of the town," he said. "You get to kind of fly over the town. We landed in the river, which was also actually kind of fun. It's a pretty technical jump, but overall it was a lot of fun. It was great, and this place is fantastic."

Flanders's death comes two months after Dean Potter, one of the world's best-known BASE jumpers and climbers, was killed while attempting an aerial flight over Yosemite Valley.

"Everyone in this sport has now seen enough really skilled, careful people die," climber Chris McNamara told PEOPLE in May. "There's just this very thin margin of how things can go from 'totally fine' to 'it's over.' And it's really hard to do this sport a lot and have that margin not catch up with you."

Outside magazine editor Grayson Schaffer echoed that sentiment this week. Flanders is the 264th jumper to die since recordkeeping began, and ironically, he was working on a documentary about the deaths in the sport at this time of his own accident.

"It's just an incredible tragedy that he would die this way," Schaffer told CBS.
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