Belfast Telegraph

Man becomes Europe's oldest jumper

A 90-year-old man has leapt 131ft from a bridge for charity, becoming the oldest bungee jumper in Europe.

Bob Steele took the record-breaking plunge from Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie village in Perth and Kinross on Monday.

The grandfather, from Chichester in West Sussex, jumped on his 90th birthday to raise money for war veterans' charity Erskine and Great Ormond Street hospital.

Mr Steele, who fought in Egypt during the Second World War and also worked on the railways and with the BBC, said he would happily do the bungee jump again.

"I am glad I have done it and yes, I'd do it again. It is nothing to be scared of and it's not stressful. I was a bit disorientated for a start but it was great and I'm happy to have done it. I've done two skydives before," he said.

He was watched by his two grand-daughters Kerrie Pasifull and Fay Stevens, and Ms Pasifull's husband Wayde.

Regular exercise is the secret to his longevity, Mr Steele said. "I've always been active. I did a lot of cycling when I was younger and then I went into hillwalking, and I used to do a couple of thousand miles a year until I got dodgy ankles."

Murray Trail, who runs Highland Fling Bungee, said: "We've had jumpers from the age of 14 right through the age spectrum but Bob is a hero and this is a European first, as far as records go."

Mr Steele will have to wait a few years before he can attempt the world record. South African Mohr Keet jumped from Bloukrans Bridge at the country's Western Cape in 2010 at the age of 96.

Frances Gabe, from the US, is the world's oldest woman bungee jumper. The Californian dived last year aged 91 after recovering from colon cancer.

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