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French Airsoft Player Dies After Falling 4 Stories During A Game

Gungho Cowboy

The news of tragic accident is just coming out of France and we thank Pierre for dropping us a message sending us a link to Ledauphine.com for us to verify this story. Airsoft-France also posted the story of the incident at their website last week. The death of an airsoft player during a game at Fort De Montgilbert should also serve as a reminder to those organising airsoft events to ensure that the game site is safe for airsoft players to play in.

Guillaume Lacotte, the 27-year old son of Jean Lacotte, deputy public prosecutor of Poitiers, known with this callsign “Sig 357” and belongs to Airsoft Team IS38 Grenoble, fell four floors or around 7 metres high to his death, during an airsoft game last 13 May 2017. It was a night game, between 8 to 10pm and it is believed to be that he was walking on a wooden plank to cross an elevator shaft when he fell to his death.

There were 60 participants and organizers game and they were questioned by the investigators from the gendarmes of the Aiguebelle brigade and the research brigade of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne last 16 May. Also part of the investigation is to determine that all the safety conditions have been met before the game was conducted.

Tributes were paid to Lacotte by his airsoft team, posting on Facebook that "Guillaume Lacotte died during an airsoft operation. We are all very sad and affected. Sig was a generous man, always with a smile, funny, very gifted on the field." He was buried last 19 May 2017 in the village of Saint-Hilaire-de-Villefranche in the Charentes Maritimes Department.

Airsoft France posts some questions regarding the incident on who is liable for the accident: Is it the game organisers? The management/tenant of the fort? Or the commune? The commune of Montgilbert owns the fort. 

Fort De Montgilbert
(Photo source: Maurienne-Turisme.com)

Sometimes, it takes a terrible accident for us to take safety at venues seriously. Airsoft organisers and airsoft field owners should always take extreme care in ensuring the safety of their venues.  Many airsoft games take place at abandoned places such as ruins, former military bases/forts, abandoned buildings, and derelict factories that the conditions of these places will always pose some danger to airsoft players as they are not maintained and in various states of disrepair. Dangerous area should be prominently marked and declared off limits to airsoft players. Also, players will need to briefed on these areas and be reminded all the time. It is highly recommended that marshals are posted near these areas to redirect players to safer positions.

Players are advised not take risks in crossing dangerous areas so they can get an advantage during an airsoft game. It may make sense tactically in a real military operation where there is always a high degree of risk, but in airsoft, safety takes precedent over having tactical advantage at all times.

Our condolences to the family of Lacotte, his friends, and his airsoft team mates.

 

Top photo: Fort De Montgilbert

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