Graphic video: Utah BASE jumper almost loses leg near Moab
Warning: the video above includes extreme depictions of blood and injury, as well as explicit language.
An Ogden man nearly snapped off his lower leg and foot during a botched BASE jump near Moab last week.
In a video posted to YouTube Tuesday (warning: the video is extremely graphic), Ammon McNeely shows his gnarled lower left leg — complete with a bloody bone protruding out over his shoe.
McNeely, 43, suffered the injury after jumping from a cliff in the Moab area.
According to the Grand County Sheriff’s office, McNeely’s parachute did not fully deploy. As he fell, he hit the rock wall several times before finally coming to a rest on a cliff 600 feet above Kane Creek Boulevard. McNeely added in a Facebook post that he struck the cliff with his foot as he plummeted down.
"I knew I was banged up, but to my utter surprise my foot was flipped on its side looking very similar to a Nalgene bottle with just a sliver of skin keeping it on," McNeely wrote in the Facebook post.
McNeely shot the video of his injuries while waiting for search and rescue personnel to arrive. In his post, he says his first thought was to wiggle his toes but he soon applied a tourniquet because "blood was squirting everywhere." He had to use a stick to tighten the tourniquet enough to make the blood stop squirting.
McNeely remains surprisingly calm throughout the video, casually panning back and forth between his face and his mangled leg. He also repeatedly says he believes he’ll lose his leg.
It took about 45 minutes for rescuers to arrive and climb up to McNeely’s position, according to his Facebook post. The sheriff’s office describes the rescuers as a technical climbing team who hoisted McNeely down the mountain. A helicopter then transported him to the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.
On Facebook, McNeely wrote that he was "absolutely prepared to wake up the next morning, minus a foot." However, doctors managed to save the limb, though he still faces the risk of infection.
McNeely is an experienced climber and BASE jumper, according to online profiles. His Facebook post includes an explanation of his activities and he has posted numerous pictures of himself parachuting and ascending rock faces. A Wikipedia page states that he holds several climbing records. He also has a Vimeo profile with videos of other, less disastrous, outdoor adventures.
In his post, he writes that he takes "100% of the responsibility for this, and all other, accidents/injuries both in BASE jumping and rock climbing."
The post concludes with a pair of questions: "Do we stand up and take the risks and have a blast enjoying our passions in life? Or, do we hide in the shadows, being afraid of what might happen if we are so bold to follow our dreams?"