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New Zealand Skydiver Survives Plunge

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A skydiver survived plunging to the ground Thursday afternoon after his parachute failed to open at the Motueka Airport on the South Island of New Zealand.

Detective John Nicholls of the Motueka Police said in a statement: “About 750 feet above the ground his reserve chute deployed automatically. It slowed his descent, however he landed heavily and sustained as yet unknown injuries.”

Authorities have not yet released the 35-year-old skydiver’s name, but according to police, he was airlifted to Nelson Hospital with multiple injuries, including to his back.

Website Stuff.co.nz reports eyewitness Kim Eschweiler saw the man come “down fast and hit the ground full blast.”

“We were told his injuries are not life-threatening,” Skydive Abel Tasman owner Stuart Bean told Stuff.co.

Bean said the man was an experienced skydiver, completing more than 1,000 jumps.

A Nelson Hospital spokeswoman reports the skydiver remains there in a stable condition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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