Baffin Island jump kills Australian man

An Australian man died during a parachute jump on Baffin Island earlier this month, Nunavut RCMP have confirmed.

An Australian man died during a parachute jump on Baffin Island earlier this month, Nunavut RCMP have confirmed.

James Michael Mitchell, 34, was killed on May 8 on a BASE jump in the Sam Ford Fiord area, about 100 kilometres northwest of Clyde River, Nunavut.

The Clyde River RCMP detachment was notified of Mitchell's death on May 9, but police officials did not publicly confirm it until Monday.

RCMP Sgt. Jimmy Akavak said several attempts have been made to recover Mitchell's body, but bad weather has hampered efforts to date.

The territory's coroner will determine whether more attempts should be made to recover his body, or whether Mitchell can be officially declared dead, Akavak said.

Nunavut has been becoming a popular location for BASE jumping over the past decade. The acronym BASE derives from buildings, antennas, spans or earth, the jumping points for the parachutists.

Mitchell was a member of the Baffin BASE 2010 expedition, which has brought experienced BASE jumpers from around the world — who are also paragliders, skydivers, skiers and climbers — to the cliffs around Sam Ford Fiord.

The expedition team acknowledged Mitchell's death in a brief post on its blog Monday.

"Out of respect for his family and friends, we will not be making a public statement or releasing any details at this time," the blog entry read in part.

"Family and friends request that their privacy be respected and that they not be contacted for any information.

In May 2007, U.S. television adventurer Jimmy Hall died while BASE jumping from a mountain in the same area.