Navy SEAL parachutist killed in Fleet Week accident

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 28 (Reuters) - A parachutist was pulled from New York Harbor on Sunday and rushed to a hospital after the diver's chute failed to open as thousands watched a U.S. Navy aerial demonstration during Fleet Week, according to eyewitness and local media reports.

The skydiver was rescued by the Coast Guard from the Hudson River off Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, just after noon, and taken to a local hospital, WABC-TV reported.

A U.S. Navy admiral is scheduled to give a briefing later Sunday afternoon outside Jersey City Medical Center, a spokeswoman said.

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A representative of the Jersey City police could not be reached immediately, while the Coast Guard referred calls to the Navy.

Sunday's festivities, part of a weeklong showcase that brings dozens of ships and thousands of service members to the New York City area every year, included demonstrations by the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, known as the Leap Frogs.

Bjoern Kils, 37, of Jersey City, was watching the event from a boat when he saw three Leap Frogs jump from a helicopter, complete their aerial maneuvers and land.

"Almost the same time that they touched down in Liberty State Park, we heard a splash and turned around very quick. I saw the water splash, and apparently, there was a fourth parachutist," said Kils, who runs charter boats.

"We're not sure where he came from. We didn't see him exit the same helicopter and apparently the chute did not deploy."

Kils saw emergency responders pull a man out of the water. "They pulled him out of the water and started doing chest compressions," he said. "He was just limp in the water."

Update: U.S. NAVY Seal skydiver killed in parachuting accident during Fleet Week show in New York Harbor

(Additional reporting by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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