JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Mohr Keet, of George, 96, bungee jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge outside Mossel Bay, judged to be the world’s highest bungee jump (jumpers fall around 160m off the 216m-high bridge) – setting the world record for the Oldest bungee jumper.
The previous Guinness world record for the oldest bungee jumper was James Guyer, aged 74 years 47 days.
“It was too short,” Mohr Keet, a pensioner from George said after he bungee jumped off the 216m Bloukrans Bridge in the Eastern Cape.
It is the fifth jump completed by Keet who is no stranger to adrenaline activities, having been white water rafting and parachuting in his 80s.
Keet said there was no reason why other people could not do the same. Keet – who first made the jump a decade ago when he was 88 – said he bungy jumped for “the thrill” and to “get rid of fear”.
“They’ve got to make up their minds and go and do it. You’ve got to overcome your fear. I have a fear of falling and noises and by going to jump like that I hope to overcome that fear.”
After the jump, a recovery specialist was lowered to where Keet was hanging and he was attached to a winch and hoisted back up to the platform. After the plunge, paramedic Riaan Botha said Keet’s blood pressure was “absolutely perfect”.
His daughter, Ellen van der Nett, and his grand- niece, Yvette Kruger, jumped afterwards. Another daughter, Lucille Keet, who lent moral support during the jump, said he took his elderly sisters to Cape Town’s adventure centre Ratanga Junction when he was 86. He had also been white water rafting and parachuting. “He’s an inspiration and he never gives up on anything,” she said.
A registered auditor and mountain club member witnessed the fall. They would verify his age, confirm his identity and that he completed the jump.
“He’s set the record three times already,” said Face Adrenalin’s Devan Tuohey, “but this will be the first time that we’ll be applying to make it official.
Starting in 1981 and as of December 22nd, 2009 there have been at least 140 fatalities related to the sport. BASE jumping is one of the world’s more dangerous recreational activities, with overall fatalities in 2002 estimated at about one fatality per sixty participants
Keet, who during the Second World War was captured by Germans while on a return trip from America and spent four years in a prisoner-of-war camp outside Paris, said: “I believe that you have to do things, to live life, so to speak. You have to face a challenge, to be able to go through with it for yourself – not for exhibition but for yourself.”
“Next he said he wants to do a tandem skydive in Mossel Bay,” company spokesman Martin Hatchuel told the Cape Argus.
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