Man base jumps from The Shard in London and lands safely

  • 14 Mar 2016

howardchapmanHoward Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor reports on 400 years of base jumps from some of the world’s tallest structures.


1-Fullscreen capture 14032016 175522I was in London at the weekend when a base jumper parachuted from the European Union’s tallest building, The Shard in London, an 87-storey building at London Bridge that stands at 1,016ft (310m).

He landed in St Thomas’s Street near Borough Market just after 10am. With a little help from his friends he evaded police by fleeing via the Underground.

Nobody has been arrested but a spokesperson for The Shard said: “We are investigating an incident involving a member of the public this morning.”

The event was caught on camera by Justin Knock (see top photo above) and here are links to 3 videos of the event:

This is just the latest in a long line of incident of people jumping from the worlds tallest structures.

Here are some notable jumps, beginning 400 years ago with the first, inspired by Leonardo de Vinci’s parachute design.


  • 1617 St Mark’s Campanile, Venice Fausto Veranzio was the first man to build and test a parachute. He constructed a device similar to da Vinci’s drawing and jumped from the tower in Venice and was the first man to build and test a parachute
  • 1912 Eiffel Tower, Paris Franz Reichelt jumped from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower and died testing his invention, the coat parachute
  • 1975 CN Tower, Toronto Bill Eustace was the first person to parachute off the CN Tower. He was one of the tower’s construction crew and was promptly sacked
  • 1975, World Trade Centre, New York Owen J. Quinn, a jobless man, parachuted from the south tower to publicise the plight of the unemployed
  • 1987, Sydney Harbour Bridge Steve Dines made the first jump from the top of the bridge
  • 1990, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Russell Powell illegally jumped from the Whispering Gallery inside St Paul’s Cathedral – this was the lowest indoor base jump in the world
  • 2008, Burj Khalifa, Dubai   Hervé Le Gallou and David McDonnell jumped off a balcony on the 155th floor
  • 2013 One World Trade Center, New York Three men jumped off the building when it was under-construction. Footage of their jump was recorded using headcams can be seen on YouTube

Don’t try this at home

And finally, as a warning to ‘don’t try this at home’, BASE jumping as of 2006 has an over-all fatality rate estimated at about one fatality per sixty participants. As of 10 September 2014, the ‘BASE Fatality List’ maintained by records 256 deaths for BASE jumping since April 1981.

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