POSTED: 03:51 a.m. HST, Mar 24, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 04:14 a.m. HST, Mar 24, 2013
ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. >> An investigation has opened into the weekend deaths of a skydiving instructor and a student, both from Iceland, who died during jumps with a group in Florida, a law enforcement official said.
The two men took part with 20 other people Saturday in skydiving jumps from a plane in Zephyrhills, about 30 miles northeast of Tampa, said Pasco County sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow. They were reported missing, touching off an hours-long search Saturday.
Snow said the air-and-ground search began when only 20 of the 22 skydivers returned from their jumps late Saturday morning. The bodies were discovered by spotters from the air early Saturday evening in woods south of the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.
Snow would not comment on whether the parachutes of the skydivers had opened. She said that was part of the investigation.
Snow identified the victims as 41-year-old instructor Orvar Arnarson and 25-year-old student Andrimar Pordarson. No hometowns were given. The men jumped separately, not in tandem, Snow said.
She added that the men were reported missing on their third round of jumps about 10:30 a.m. Saturday and that their bodies were spotted later after search teams scoured a large area, focused mostly south of the municipal airport.
She said the teams were instructed to look for the men and their chutes, one green-and-white and the parachute blue-and gray.
Authorities said the skydivers were part of a jump outing through Skydive City in Zephyrhills.