Home / World / Europe

British veteran, aged 101, sets new record as world's oldest skydiver

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-16 16:57

LONDON - At the age of 101 years and 38 days, Verdun Hayes became the world's oldest skydiver Sunday.

The veteran of the D-Day landings during the World War II, hogged the limelight after completing his tandem jump above the English county of Devon. He leapt from the plane when it reached a height of 4,572 meters, freefalling for a while before the parachute opened.

Speaking as he touched down, the former lance corporal in the Royal Signals shouted a cheerful "hooray" and said he was feeling "absolutely over the moon" after completing the challenge.

He has beaten the previous record held by Canadian Armand Gendreau who in 2013 completed a skydive aged 101 and three days.

Hayes was already aged 100 when he made his first skydive, an ambition he had nurtured since he was aged 90. His late wife insisted he keep his feet firmly on the ground.

Hayes, who lives in Croyde, Devon, served in the British military during WWII and was presented with a Legion d'honneur for his heroic actions in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France.

Four generations of his family enjoyed skydive. Also completing a skydive Sunday was Hayes' son Bryan aged 74, grandson Roger aged 50 and great grandson Stan aged 16. They were raising money for the Royal British Legion.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours