Taking a 10,000ft dive for good cause

This Is Wiltshire: What goes up... must come down. TD Williamson’s intrepid staff members took on a skydive for charity. Pictured clockwise from top, are Gary Mitchard, Mark Duckworth, Andrew Rowland, Jamie Bull, Elena Hamilton, Kerry Willams and Rob Merrett What goes up... must come down. TD Williamson’s intrepid staff members took on a skydive for charity. Pictured clockwise from top, are Gary Mitchard, Mark Duckworth, Andrew Rowland, Jamie Bull, Elena Hamilton, Kerry Willams and Rob Merrett

ADVENTUROUS thrill-seekers gave up their Sunday to raise money for Prospect Hospice in a sponsored skydive.

Rob Merrett and seven of his colleagues from international oil and gaspipe inspection firm TD Williamson were just some of the hundreds who threw themselves from a plane over Redlands Airfield for the good cause.

Rob said: “it was fantastic. Everybody had a great time and we were extremely lucky with the weather.”

The field technician from Liden and his colleagues raised £1,350, a figure Dorcan-based TD Williamson have already promised to add to with another £1,000.

Rob, 54, suggested taking on the challenge after taking part in a similar event more than two decades ago.

He said: “I had done a parachute jump 28 years ago and I had a hankering to do one again and I thought it might be an idea to do it to raise some money to support the Prospect Hospice.

“It was pleasing that so many people here were crazy enough to say yes. When you mention Prospect it always helps.”

The group turned up early to the airfield on Sunday to register for the jump and have a briefing.

After they had all been processed it was just a matter of waiting before they were attached to their tandem instructors and flown up to 10,000 feet.

Rob said: “In the plane you basically sit in your instructors lap, and just before you jump he sits on the edge of the plane and you are pretty much dangling in the air out of the plane at 10,000 feet, which is quite interesting.

“Then it is 30 seconds of freefall.

“And then your instructor taps you on the shoulder and pulls the shoot, and from then it’s a very peaceful journey and there are amazing views.”

All eight of the team landed safely after the jump, although one colleague had a dislocated shoulder.

Rob said: “There was only one minor injury when one of my colleagues, whose shoulder pops out easily, dislocated it on the way down because he misunderstood the instructor and raised his arms when he got out of the plane.”

  • To sponsor the group, call TD Williamson UK Ltd on 01793 603600.

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