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September 5 2011.

Two of Newhaven's intrepid lifeboat crew braved a 13,000 ft. parachute jump to raise money for the RNLI recently. Second Coxswain Lee Blacknell and crew member Mike Avenell took the plunge via tandem jumps with the Red Devils.

The day before the jump involved an introduction and thorough training session on the ground. On the day they were fully briefed and it was then their turn to jump.

They boarded the aircraft with their Red Devils tandem instructors and once aboard they were attached to their instructor in readiness for the jump. The aircraft took off and climbed to 13,000ft. During the climb Lee and Mike could see stunning aerial views, although they confess their minds were fully focused on the impending jump.

Once at exit altitude they edged over to the door of the aircraft and on counts of three they leapt from the aircraft straight into free-fall. The next 45 seconds seem to last forever. Mike explained; "The speed you are falling makes it quite tricky to just breathe, but an amazing, out of this world, feeling." At approximately 6,000ft the instructor deployed the parachute and the pair were skilfully and gently guided to a perfect landings safe and sound.

Second Coxswain Lee Blacknell said, "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."