TRAINING to jump 200 feet from a helicopter and break three Guinness World Records, John Bream is an ex-paratrooper on a mission to prevent veteran suicides.
Former soldier John - known as The Flying Fish - aims to achieve the world’s highest jump into water, the highest free jump from a helicopter and the most amount of spectators on inflatables.
John, who served for five years and was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, is aiming to raise awareness of veteran suicides and money for Portsmouth-based veteran charity All Call Signs.
The 33-year-old from Widley said: ‘Lads and lasses are coming back and having tough times, we need to club together, it’s such a noble cause.
‘We need to look after them because they’re the ones who are struggling. It’s horrendous, you can’t put someone in that environment and expect them to come back and be normal.’
Father-of-three John is training hard for the challenge, which will be at Adrenalin Quarry near Plymouth in May 2020.
The current record achieved in 2015 by Laso Schaller from Switzerland stands at 58m, but John will jump from 61m (200 feet).
He will need to be able to surface unaided and pull himself out of the water, and is feeling optimistic even though the attempt ended in a dislocated hip and, John said, the chance of successfully jumping is 20 per cent.
John went to Crookhorn College and boxed with Waterlooville Boxing Club before becoming the Army Individual Championship’s featherweight champion in 2004.
He struggled when leaving the army with a lack of support from charities which is available now, and this is why he wants to help others through his challenge and his not-for-profit scheme Project RV, which supports veterans to have exciting adventures.
‘Lads are still killing themselves and it’s driving me nuts. It’s outrageous, it shouldn’t get to that, it’s unreal,’ said John.
‘It’s bad enough losing friends in battles, when you come back and lads take their own lives it’s heartbreaking.’
He added: ‘I can’t sit still, I just can’t stop. All I want to do is help. I’m training hard and I’ve got infectious optimism.’
To help fund his attempt, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/theflyingfish.