PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Panama City Beach Police Department is no stranger to BASE jumpers in the area.
On Sunday night, police responded to a call regarding a BASE jumper at the Sunrise Beach Condominiums on Front Beach Road.
Officers found Timothy Ackerman, 31, dead upon arrival.
BASE (Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth) jumping is “parachuting from fixed objects,” according to learning website Wonderopolis.
After News 13 requested incident reports dealing with BASE jumping within Panama City Beach, we found a few incidents in the last few years.
Just last month, Beach police officers responded to the Tidewater Condominiums after a security guard said he saw a man jump off of the building.
According to the police report, the security guard said he observed a man with a backpack acting strangely and enter an elevator where he took it to the 30th floor. The guard searched the 30th floor but didn’t see the man which led him to check the roof.
It’s noted in the report that the door to the roof was secure but the security guard wanted to check the roof anyways.
It’s on the roof the guard reportedly saw the man climbing up on the beach side ledge of the condominiums. When he shouted at the man to get down from the ledge, he said he saw the man jump, but was unsure if a parachute deployed.
In the police report, officers said video surveillance shows the man inside the elevator, wearing a black parachute, covering his face. Officers were unable to identify him.
In 2016, a 36-year old Tennessee man was caught BASE jumping from the 30th floor of the Tidewater building onto the beach.
He was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.
Two years later, two people were reportedly BASE jumping off of the 25th floor of the Sunrise Beach Condominiums, the same building Ackerman jumped off of.
In that case, officers had no suspects.
Wonderopolis said BASE jumpers frequently become experts in skydiving before moving on to BASE jumping.
However, JumpFlorida Skydiving said BASE jumping is “incredibly dangerous,” and it does not have the same laws and regulations as skydiving.
While there is no specific law against BASE jumping in Florida, someone caught BASE jumping in Panama City Beach could face charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, law enforcement officials said.