One-legged jumpers make a splash in Southsea in 1981

Paul Coleman, instructor Mac McLaughlin and James Wild came ashore near South Parade Pier after their sponsored parachute jump.
Paul Coleman, instructor Mac McLaughlin and James Wild came ashore near South Parade Pier after their sponsored parachute jump.

Two disabled Hampshire parachutists took to the air for the first time at Southsea. 

Machinist James Wild, 30, of Titchfield, and Paul Coleman, 28, of Eastleigh – both of whom only had one leg – leapt from a Cessna light aircraft off South Parade Pier after only three days of training. 

But after being picked up by the Royal Marines, both said they couldn’t wait to do it all over again. 

James Wild, a former Royal Navy electrician, said: ‘I was a bit frightened for the first three seconds, wondering if the ‘chute had opened. After that it was great, and I would not mind taking it up as a full-time sport.’

James and Paul hoped to raise thousands for the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity and training schools for disabled pupils.