Newhaven Lifeboat crew jump out of plane for RNLI

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NOT CONTENT with the high octane world of saving lives at sea, Newhaven Lifeboat volunteers are now moving into parachute jumping – but it’s all in the name of a good cause.

Second coxswain Lee Blacknell and crew member Mike Avenell leapt out of a plane at 13,000 feet on their tandem jump.

So far the adventurous pair have raised a fantastic £600 for the RNLI.

Mike said: “The speed you are falling makes it quite tricky to just breathe, but an amazing out of this world feeling.”

Second coxswain Lee Blacknell added: “It was absolutely superb and I am sure that this will not be our last parachute jump.

“It’s a great adrenaline sport and even better is the fact we are raising money for the RNLI.”

The jump was held on August 27 at Netheravon near Salisbury.

The day before the jump, they took part in a thorough training session on the ground.

They boarded the plane with their Red Devils tandem instructors and once aboard they were attached to their instructor in preparation for the jump.

The plane climbed to 13,000ft or 2.5 miles.

During the climb Lee and Mike could see stunning aerial views, although they confessed their minds were fully focused on the approaching jump.

Once at exit altitude they leapt from the plane straight into free fall. Lee and Mike said the next 45 seconds seemed to last forever. 

At around 6,000ft the instructor deployed the parachute and the pair were skilfully and gently guided to a perfect landings safe and sound.

People can make a donation in support of their efforts at www.justgiving.com/Lee-blacknell.