Daredevil taken to hospital after jumping from helicopter without parachute
A former paratrooper has been taken to hospital to be checked over after attempting a world record jump without a parachute from a helicopter into water.
The daredevil former paratrooper today set a world record after he jumped 131ft into the sea – but appeared to land awkwardly in the water.
John Bream, who is nicknamed ‘John the Flying Fish’, plummeted into the sea feet-first at 75mph as part of his daring stunt.
It is understood that he has been taken to hospital for a check over following the jump.
The 34-year-old, who fell for around four seconds before hitting the water, has set two records as a result of his dive, which he took on to raise awareness for veteran suicide.
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Mr Bream set a world record for the highest freefall into water from an aircraft and the record for jumping into British waters following today’s leap into the Solent off Hayling Island, Hants.
The dangerous stunt could have resulted in severe injury or even death, as Mr Bream explained if the technique is wrong ‘the water can absolutely rip you in half’.
Mr Bream said it felt ‘amazing’ to complete following a year and a half of training and the father of three said his kids have told him he is the talk of their school and that they call him the ‘modern day Evel Knievel’.
Divers who reached Mr Bream after the jump said he had hit his head as he landed in the water and was briefly unconscious when they reached him.
But he was seen walking and chatting with paramedics as he was being checked over before being taken to hospital.
Mr Bream, from Bedhampton, Hants, said: “It feels so amazing to have finally done it, I’m so happy.
“I’m so pleased to have got this smashed and hopefully I’ve made people smile and laugh a little.”
Mr Bream – who served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland and is experienced in leaping from aircrafts – took on the challenge to raise money for All Call Signs and Support Our Paras, two charities dedicated to helping veterans struggling with their mental health.
He said ‘we need to do everything we can to prevent veterans committing suicide’.
Mr Bream broke his jump into three stages – the take off, flight, and landing. If he failed to get his entry into water correct it could have been fatal.
Explaining his technique, he said: “It had to be feet-first, you would break your neck with anything else.
“It has to be a feet-first take off but then opened my arms out and hunched over to try to slow myself down as much as possible and then as I got near the water I quickly tuck myself into a pencil position.
“If my arms were out when I landed then they would break.
“The water can absolutely rip you in half – a belly flop would probably be death.
“With the height I jumped from, you reach about 75mph – it’s pretty rapid. If you’re jumping 10 metres at a swimming pool, you reach about 35mph.”
He also said: “You know when you trip up on the pavement? The reality is that you slip and hit the ground pretty quickly, but in your mind you trip and all of these thoughts go through your mind and everything slows down.
“This is a bit like that, everything slows right down when you’re in the moment.”
Mr Bream added that it wasn’t necessary to wear a box around his private parts for protection.
He said the previous record for diving into British waters was 122ft and the 40ft record for freefalling into water from an aircraft was held by SAS Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton.
Mr Bream now hopes to replicate the stunt but from 200ft to beat the current 192ft world record for freefalling into water.
To support Mr Bream, who is raising funds and awareness for service personnel mental health charity All Call Signs and the Support Our Paras charity, visit the crowdfunding website.
He aims to beat the current world record, which stands at 191ft and was achieved by Brazilian-Swiss extreme athlete Laso Schaller at Cascata del Salto, Switzerland, in 2015.
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