A DAREDEVIL taxi driver has become the oldest person to do the world’s highest tandem jump.
70-year-old Ray Woodcock, of Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, threw himself out of a plane above Tennessee in America to take part in the HALO jump which raised money for Southend Taxi Drivers Charity Fund for Children.
HALO stands for High Altitude Low Open and he jumped from 30,000 feet in temperatures of minus 40 degrees. During the two-minute freefall he reached speeds of 180mph.
Ray said: “The plane we went up in hasn’t even got a door on it. The HALO jump is the one the Special Forces use.”
This is not the first time Ray has taken up an extreme challenge for charity.
Over the last seven years, he has scaled three erupting volcanoes, driven a sled 250km across the frozen Arctic wastes and trekked through Death Valley.
Ray said climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, was when the fundraising bug bit him.
He added: “I really enjoyed it and I have done one or so every year. I try to make it as interesting as possible.”
However he takes a rather relaxed approach to his adrenaline fuelled adventures.
He joked: “It gets me out of washing up at the weekend!”
For more information about the charity, go to www.southendtaxidriverscharityfund.co.uk.
Watch the video of Ray's record-breaking jump here: