A respirologist from Calgary has died after a fall during a wing suit jump from the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Friday.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, David Stather and a group of friends were attempting a base jump at a location near the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River in Arizona. Stather was equipped with a wing suit and a parachute.

Stather’s friends reported the disappearance of the 41-year-old after he failed to arrive at the canyon floor.  Stather’s parachute was spotted by members of the group as they hiked out of the canyon at a spot nearly 2,000 feet from the jump site.

Helicopters were unable to retrieve Stather on Friday evening, due to darkness, but an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter returned to the area on Saturday morning.

Search and Rescue members and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office located Stather’s body and confirmed his death. Stather’s death is believed to have been the result of fall trauma but the Coconino Country Medical Examiner has launched an investigation.   

Stather, an Alberta Health Services employee, is survived by his parents in Guelph, Ontario.

His family released a statement on Monday saying:

We are so very proud of our son in all of his professional accomplishments, especially for all of the lives he's saved and touched in his life. He loved most outdoor sports and getting the most out of life.

We, as well as his younger brother and two sisters will miss him dearly. 

Margaret Stather