Navy Seal
A Navy Seal parachutist died in an accident on Sunday, 28 May, when his gear failed to open and the skydiver plunged into the Hudson River in New Jersey - Representational image Reuters

A skydiver from the US Navy Seals was killed in an unfortunate accident on Sunday (28 May) when his parachute failed to open during Fleet Week demonstrations over the Hudson River in New Jersey.

The parachutist fell into the river while his parachute landed in a Jersey City parking lot, according to local media reports.

The accident happened shortly after noon on Sunday near Liberty State Park in Jersey City, a Navy spokesman said. He added that the parachutist was rescued from the water by the Coast Guard and local fire department responders who were on standby.

The victim — a member of the elite Navy parachute team called the Leap Frogs — was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1.10pm local time (6pm BST). The Navy did not disclose the identity of the victim pending notification to his family.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the parachute's failure.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," Rear Admiral Jack Scorby, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said in a statement.

Nancy Malinowski, a Cranford, New Jersey, resident told the Associated Press that the parachutist was among four skydivers who dived out of two helicopters as part of the demonstrations. One of the parachutists, she said, descended with a large American flag.

Malinowski told the news agency that she learnt about the accident later in the day from a firefighter. "It was devastating. We felt terrible," she said.