Avid skydiver killed in Muriwai accident was a ‘beautiful soul’

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Sarah-Jane Bayram died in a skydiving accident on Muriwai Beach on Thursday.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Sarah-Jane Bayram died in a skydiving accident on Muriwai Beach on Thursday.

A woman who died in a skydiving accident on Muriwai Beach in Auckland last week will be sadly missed by colleagues and friends.

Sarah-Jane Bayram, a British national in her 50s, died on Thursday evening after losing consciousness and having her parachute deployed by another skydiver.

According to Skydive Auckland, she was part of a group of experienced skydivers taking part in a formation nine when two of the group members collided in mid-air.

Bayram descended into the sea and was rescued by two off-duty lifeguards who tried to save her, but she died on the beach.

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The other skydiver involved in the crash – a man in his 20s – suffered minor injuries after landing on the beach.

He was taken to hospital on Thursday evening, but released on Friday.

One of Bayram’s friends, Lisa Chambers, said she had a “tremendous passion for skydiving” and a quirky, infectious, adventure-oriented attitude.

“With your big smile, you would plummet and love every second. The New Zealand skies won’t be the same without you, but your spirit will always fly with us there,” Chambers said.

“SJ was a beautiful soul, full of adventure and love for life, fun and with a wacky sense of humor. She deserves credit for being such a wonderful person.

Bayram was an experienced skydiver and had performed over 200 jumps in her life, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Chambers said she could not comment on what happened during the dive as she was not present and it would be investigated.

Bayram had been a space planning analyst at the University of Auckland and had worked as an architect and interior designer for nearly 20 years.

A university spokeswoman said she was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the news of Bayram’s death.

“Sarah-Jane was a long-time, well-respected colleague and friend on our property services team. I will miss her terribly.”

WorkSafe and the Civil Aviation Authority have been notified and the matter will be forwarded to the coroner.

In 2019, an experienced skydiver died during a Skydive Auckland jump after hitting his head on landing. The man was set to become a member of Skydive Auckland’s ground crew before his death.

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