Monday, 29 November 2010

Britain is a country which needs more and men like Christopher Irven who has that, now, rare quality of ' the Dunkirk Spirit' : a post script

I published this post about Chris Irven back in July :

I came across a newspaper article :

Isn't 75 a little too old for cliff-jumping? Thrill-seeking grandfather ends up in hospital after 'tombstoning' stunt

It made the following points about Chris he :

* climbed part of the way up a 100ft rock, leapt off and belly-flopped into the sea and ended up in hospital with groin and stomach injuries.

* attempted a swallow dive where the diver jumps off backwards and enters the water head first.

* went ahead even when his family had urged him not to and they watched from a packed beach.

* came to the surface and cried out in pain and his two sons ran into the water and dragged him out.

* was given oxygen on the beach before he was airlifted to hospital.

* was released after treatment.

* said : "I might be 75 years old but I am very fit for my age and fairly adventurous. I tend to do things that might be daunting to other people".

* and : "The dive was a bit of a cock-up and I hit the water at a bad angle, it was too shallow. My face, chest, tummy and legs took a battering. I started to swim back to shore but couldn't and my two sons came and got me out. I lay down and a bit of shock set in. I have got some bruising today but I am OK. If I do it again I will make sure I get it right next time."

P.S. Two months ago he completed a gruelling 2,000-mile cycle ride around Britain and raised more than £15,000 for the 'Help for Heroes' charity for wounded servicemen.

I have since heard from Chris and in the name a clarity and the truth this is what he said :

A few points, if I may: the press didn't get it all correct. I wasn't badly hurt: shocked, yes. My family did not urge me not to do it; they were diving with me as we had done dozens of times from that point. My sons were trying to make my dive more stylish - vain hope - but a swallow dive is not backwards. I should have kept my own council. On my 2038-mile cycle for Help for Heroes I have now raised £23,000 - see wordpress for full story. I'm now considering my next charity - wife permitting. Isn't there one for families of soldiers who didn't come back? Advice welcome, preferably constructive. Chris Irven

Britain is still a country with some remarkable old men.

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