Skydiver Missing: Pilot Unable to Confirm Whether Parachute Opened

A skydiver is missing in the Cascade foothills east of Seattle sparking a frantic search by rescue workers.

A search was conducted by 75 members of the sheriff's search and rescue unit for hours on Thursday but as the dark closed in a King County sheriff's spokeswoman announced that the search would have to be called off for the evening. The search, it was said, would be resumed at first light on Friday.

That frantic search was sparked after a helicopter pilot reported that a skydiver had jumped from the aircraft but did not show up at the scheduled landing zone near Mount Si about 30 miles away from Seattle, according to Sergeant Cindi West.

The report of the missing skydiver described that the diver had jumped from the aircraft at about 2.30 p.m.

However, news that they had been unable to locate the skydiver by sundown was potentially devastating news, as it would mean the missing person would be out in the Cascade foothills overnight.

According to the Associated Press, the helicopter pilot described that three men were taking it in turns in going up in the helicopter to jump. In their rotation system, two of the men would wait at the landing zone while the third went up in the helicopter and jumped out.

The men were jumping from about 6,500 feet, and were supposed to aim for a specified landing zone. However, one of the men never made it to the landing zone.

The group has explained that the two men waiting at the landing zone were unable to see the third man jump from the helicopter as their line of sight was blocked at the time of the jump. Therefore, no-one was able to see where he headed and potentially where he landed or what what happened to him.

According to KIRO-TV, a CBS affiliate, the pilot has said he cannot confirm that the skydiver's parachute opened after he jumped.

The man who is missing is reportedly a 29 year old from Florida. No further information has been released about the man.