Watch the amazing moment a former paratrooper jumped 200ft into the Solent
A FORMER paratrooper has plummeted into the record books after successful leaping from a helicopter into the Solent.
Daredevil John Bream leapt 130ft (40m) into the choppy waters off Hayling Island to secure his place in the history books.
Although not yet confirmed by the Guinness Book or Records, it’s hoped the 34-year-old, known as The Flying Fish, has now bagged himself the world’s highest free fall jump into water from a helicopter and a British record for the highest jump into UK waters.
Watched by a safety team, his family and press from across the UK, John took almost three seconds to splash down into the water - at speeds of about 62mph - before breaking the surface and giving the thumbs up.
Speaking from a boat moments after the event, a jubilant John said: ‘It went wonderfully - swimmingly.’
Initially he had hoped to tackle the death-defying feat in May, plunging into Adrenalin Quarry near Plymouth.
But the coronavirus pandemic scuppered these plans - which also saw a key sponsor pull out of the bid.
Speaking to The News from the Langstone Hotel in Hayling Island moments before he set off for his record-breaking attempt, John said it had been a challenging journey.
‘It’s a really exciting day,’ he said. ‘Leaping from a helicopter is second nature for me. But it’s always good fun. It’s exhilarating.’
John, who served for five years and was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, hoped his freefalling antics would raise awareness of veteran suicides and drum up cash for Southsea-based veteran charity, All Call Signs.
The dad-of-three from Widley wants to help veterans and said: ‘They leave the military and they give up on their lives and they shouldn’t.
‘It’s heartbreaking. I’ve had friends who have killed themselves. I’ve been in war zones with these men and we got through it. Then we come back and their demons take over and they die. It’s horrendous. These men have got families - wives, kids.. it’s just horrible.’
There is no record set for a world record jump from a helicopter.
The record for the highest jump from a land into water was achieved in 2015 by Laso Schaller from Switzerland who plummeted from 190ft (58m).
John needed to surface unaided and pull himself out of the water.
However, the leap could have gone horrifically wrong, which could have seen him potentially breaking his back, legs and dislocating his hip.
John added: ‘The heights were jumping, things could go catastrophically wrong. It’s something that we must get right.’
Wrapped in a blanket, John is on his way back to shore to be medically assessed.
It’s hoped officials from the Guinness Book of Records will award him his world title after checking over the jump.
His GoFundMe page is here.