Sunderland man skydives 15,000 feet to raise money for a defibrillator in Herrington Welfare Park
A Sunderland man has completed a 15,000 foot skydive after raising £1,700 to have a defibrillator installed at Herrington Welfare Park.
Garry Wallace, from New Herrington, completed the challenge on Friday, October 8, at The Airfield, in Shotton Colliery, after smashing his initial goal of raising £1,200 for the lifesaving device.
Garry, who is a member of New Herrington Bowls Club, decided to raise funds after the park has begun to see a lot more people using it.
Warehouse worker Garry has spoken about how he was feeling ahead of completing his adrenaline-filled challenge and claimed that the support prompted him to raise the stakes.
The 61-year-old said: “The whole idea came from a meeting that we had at the bowls club about getting a defibrillator installed.
"We inquired with the council about the cost of getting one installed and found out that we’d need to raise around £1,200 to cover the costs.
“When I first decided to do it, I signed up to do the 10,000 foot jump however I’ve been so overwhelmed by the amount of money raised that I felt like I had to up it to the 15,000 foot jump.
"I just can’t thank all the local community, businesses and my colleagues enough for their support.”
Garry, who is already looking to do another one just for fun, was surprised at one aspect of the jump and expressed his delight at the views.
He added: “We were in free fall for about 8,000 feet and the strangest thing about it was that it was just deadly silence, I was expecting it to be really noisy.
"The worst part is coming out of the plane as the tutor has to sit on the edge, meaning that you’re just dangling in the air.
"The weather was perfect and the views were fantastic along the East Durham and Sunderland coastline.
"I could see as far south as Redcar and as far north as the Stadium of Light – which I’m pleased about because I wanted to see that.”