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A jump off the ‘Edge of the World’

| Written by Shetland News

'The moment you jump, you are both dead and live at the same time' - all photos: Simon Brentford 'The moment you jump, you are both dead and live at the same time' - all photos: Simon Brentford TWO thrill-seekers have performed what they believe is the UK's most remote base jump.

Simon Brentford and Darren Stafford jumped off a 930ft cliff at Nebbifield, on the isle of Foula, last month before launching parachutes.

Brentford landed on a pebble beach at the bottom, whilst Stafford fell safely onto an awaiting boat.

The two Englishmen, who launched themselves off the cliff one after another, filmed the event before uploading the video to YouTube.

Speaking about the hair-raising jump, Leeds-based Brentford – who has been skydiving since 1993 - said that he took on the Foula cliff because he was always looking for unusual challenges.

The duo teamed up with locals Jim and Richard Scott of RS Marine Charters to provide on-water assistance.

They travelled from Skeld before arriving at the east side of Foula to prepare for the jump on 17 April, a perfectly calm spring day.

"We were met [in Foula] by a few of the locals including Brian who kindly offered to take us to the end of the road where we could begin our ascent towards Nebbifield," Brentford said.

"The plan was that we would hike up the back towards the cliff and at the same time the boat would circumnavigate to the west side and wait just off the base of the cliff.

Freefall. Freefall. "I had briefed everyone that time was of the essence. Base parachutes work best in low winds as they get buffeted a lot less, so with winds forecast to arrive mid afternoon, losing this perfect opportunity was not an option.

"It didn't take long to summit the impressive 1,000ft ridge line leading to the edge and that was when we got our first view of the jump. It was as impressive as I had hoped for.

"It took only five minutes to find the exit point and my altimeter measured the height to be a whopping 930ft.

"On difficult technical base jumps, I would normally experience feelings of nervousness and apprehension. After all, the sea had a swell of two metres, the cliff had never been jumped before and we were far from rescue should something happen.

On the beach after the jump. On the beach after the jump. "However, both Darren and I felt calm and in-the-zone. After a quick prayer together, I decided to jump first and radioed a one minute call to the boat."

The 40 year old added that he thought of a quote he previously heard - "the moment you jump, you are both dead and alive at the same time" - before launching forward.

"I pushed off from the cliff and into the open air. The cliff was truly beautiful as I passed a series of ledges behind me.

"Climbers before me had spent hours slowly making their way up the rock face, but I was passing the rock faster and faster until after only four seconds I decided it was time to open my parachute.

"My focus now switched to where I was going to land. One option was to land on the small beach at the bottom of the cliff and the other to land on the rear deck of the boat.

"Both required good accuracy within a few metres. I decided to land on the beach and had to pass over a series of big rocks to get to an area whey they were slightly smaller.

"I hit the target exactly where I wanted and was relieved when Darren did the same on the back of the fishing boat.

"I think he did a better job than me – two perfect landings!" Simon Brentford (left) and  Darren Stafford after their daring challenge. Simon Brentford (left) and Darren Stafford after their daring challenge.

 

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