Dramatic Video Shows British 'Red Devils' Paratrooper Saved Mid-Air After Parachute Fails

06/20/2015 07:54 am ET | Updated Jun 20, 2016

(Updates with comment from soldier)

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - A British army paratrooper from the country's famed Red Devils display team had a narrow escape in front of hundreds of spectators after he was caught mid-air by a fellow team member when his parachute failed to open properly.

The airshow in northwest England where the incident happened late on Friday said it was the first parachute fail in 25 years for the team, which is formed of 12 members of Britain's elite Parachute Regiment.

Spectators published dramatic photos and video on social media showing one soldier with a fully open parachute wrapping his legs around the ropes of his team mate's tangled parachute below.

"It was awful watching them struggling, especially when they veered off course -- until we realized they were purposely targeting the biggest area of water for ditching into," a spectator said on the airshow's Facebook page.

Both men were unharmed after landing in a nearby marina.

Speaking to broadcasters on Saturday, the soldier whose parachute failed to open, Corporal Mike French, said he owed fellow parachutist Corporal Wayne Shorthouse "a pint of beer, maybe," and that both had jumps scheduled for Sunday.

The Red Devils take part in more than 60 public displays a year. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Digby Lidstone and David Clarke)

Earlier on HuffPost:

  • Getty Images
    Graves are surrounded by floodwater at St Deny's Church on February 13, 2014 in Severn Stoke, Worcestershire, England. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    A flood warning road sign on a partially submerged road near the river Thames on February 13, 2014 in Wargrave, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    A walker looks out at the flood waters on February 13, 2014 in Staines-Upon-Thames, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    Flood water fills the High Street on February 12, 2014 in Datchet, England.The Environment Agency continues to issue severe flood warnings for a number of areas on the river Thames in the commuter belt west of London. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    A couple promote the Piccola Venezia Italian restaurant by rowing their gondola through flood waters on February 12, 2014 in Datchet, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    A woman walks along Bridge Street through heavy rain and hail on February 12, 2014 in Worcester, England. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    A man cycles along New Road, closed to vehicles due to flooding, on February 12, 2014 in Worcester, England. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    People walk along a flooded road in Wraysbury, west of London on February 12, 2014. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    Soldiers attempt to protect a flooded property with sandbags in Wraysbury, west of London on February 12, 2014. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    James Georgiadis pushes his boat along a flooded lane to his house on February 12, 2014 in Wraysbury, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    Kellie Evans makes her to work through flood water on February 12, 2014 in Wraysbury, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Getty Images
    Children play in a flooded residential street on February 11, 2014 in Egham, United Kingdom. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Suggest a correction