Ex-paratrooper leaps off Portsmouth's 558ft Spinnaker Tower into water

Moment ex-paratrooper ‘Johnny the Fish’ makes a splash after leaping off Portsmouth’s 558ft Spinnaker Tower

  • Former paratrooper John Bream, 35, leaps off Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
  • Mr Bream makes a split-second decision to ditch into water as jump goes wrong
  • The former soldier said the reckless basejump was to ‘make people smile’
  • His accomplice, called DTM, 55, jumped moments later – landing on concrete

This is the stomach-churning moment a daredevil leaps off a 558ft city landmark. 

John Bream, 35, who is a former paratrooper, filmed as he basejumped from the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hants early this morning. 

Mr Bream, whose nickname is ‘Johnny the Fish’, had to make a last-second decision to ditch into the water because he was falling too fast to land safely on solid ground.

He is seen jumping from the tower with his friend and the former world champion base jumper known as ‘DTM’.

Mr Bream said he decided to do the jump to show people we can ‘achieve brilliance’, and tried to do it at the quietest time – in the morning – as he did not want to bump into anyone when he landed in the busy shopping area below.

The father-of-three, who refers to himself as a modern day Evel Knievel, said: ‘It was just to show people we can achieve brilliance.

‘I wanted to keep making people smile and entertaining them – it’s nice.

John Bream, 35 (pictured), jumps off the 558ft Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hants

The former paratrooper, pictured with his accomplice, known only as ‘DTM’, leaps off the top of the Spinnaker Tower

The water below, which the aptly nicknamed ‘Johnny the Fish’ would soon be forced to ditch into after coming down with too much speed

Mr Bream, pictured, said he pulled off the stunt to make people smile and show them we can all ‘achieve brilliance’ 

Mr Bream’s accomplice, ‘DTM’ (pictured), although twenty years old – aged 55 – had a more successful jump, landing nimbly on the ground – while Mr Bream had to ditch into water

‘DTM’, a former base jumping world champion, watches his partner Mr Bream plummet to the ground

Onlookers going about their morning routines this morning in Portsmouth got an unexpected shock as the two daredevils Mr Bream and DTM (pictured) basejumped from the landmark

‘I came in too fast so I had to ditch into the stretch of water where people drive model boats. I swam out to safety as quick as I could.

‘Then when we got out security came up and they thought we were terrorists because our parachutes went bang.

‘The police came over and when they realised that we did not do anything they left us alone.’

DTM, 55, jumped after Mr Bream and – although twenty years older – pulled off the stunt much more gracefully, landing nimbly on the concrete runway without needing to ditch into the water.


Police questioned the daredevils (left, DTM and right, Mr Bream) after they landed but, after a brief exchange, let them go

John Bream pictured holding a certificate confirming he broke the Guinness World Record for highest jump from an aircraft into water without a parachute in October 2020

Mr Bream – who served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland – says he also does stunts to raise awareness for mental health issues, particularly among servicemen.

‘Johnny the Fish’, from Bedhampton, Hants, got the Guinness World Record for the highest jump from an aircraft into water when he plummeted 131ft into the Solent off Hayling Island, Hants, in October 2020.  

On his record-breaking jump into the Solent out of a helicopter and without a parachute, he reached speeds of 75mph, as part of a daring stunt to raise awareness of veteran suicide.

The father-of-three spent 18 months training for the jump as even getting it slightly wrong could have left him seriously injured or even dead. 

Mr Bream explained that with the wrong technique ‘the water can absolutely rip you in half’. 

His technique involved breaking the jump into three stages – the take off, flight, and landing. If he had failed to get his entry into the water correct it could have been fatal.

Explaining his technique, he said: ‘It had to be feet-first, you would break your neck with anything else.

‘It has to be a feet-first take off but then opened my arms out and hunched over to try to slow myself down as much as possible and then as I got near the water I quickly tuck myself into a pencil position.

‘If my arms were out when I landed then they would break.

‘The water can absolutely rip you in half – a belly flop would probably be death.

‘With the height I jumped from, you reach about 75mph – it’s pretty rapid. If you’re jumping 10 metres at a swimming pool, you reach about 35mph.’

He also said: ‘You know when you trip up on the pavement? The reality is that you slip and hit the ground pretty quickly, but in your mind you trip and all of these thoughts go through your mind and everything slows down.

‘This is a bit like that, everything slows right down when you’re in the moment.’

Mr Bream added that it wasn’t necessary to wear a box around his private parts for protection.

He said the previous record for diving into British waters was 122ft and the 40ft record for freefalling into water from an aircraft was held by SAS Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton.

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