Skyscraper freefall jump for Durban

2010-05-22 00:00

DURBAN’S latest tourist attraction, a skyscraper freefall, is guaranteed to keep adrenaline junkies coming back for more.

The Big Rush Mount Blanc Elevator, which opens next week on Durban’s South Beach, is being touted as the world’s first skyscraper freefall.

Just in time for the World Cup, Iain McIntosh, who operates the bungee swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium, said the attraction will draw hundreds of international and local tourists.

McIntosh told the Weekend Witness that the experience involves putting a person into a full body harness, which is hooked on with metal hooks.

The person is then lifted 37 storeys into the air on to a platform, from which one gets a breathtaking view of the Golden Mile.

At the push of a button, the person goes into freefall to jerk to a halt 20 metres above the ground.

The freefall is a descent of 80 metres, and reaches a terminal velocity of 126 km/h.

McIntosh says stopping is achieved by a combination of a huge electric motor made in Australia and an independent Danish-made braking system, “all backed up by a very beautiful, Italian-made bungee tail”,

Once the freefall is over, one is lowered to the ground and unhooked from the harness.

Safety is imperative for McIntosh.

“Someone will take you to the top of the take-off platform, where a second crew member will attach you to a double jump cable at two points on your harness and also to two guide cables to stop you bumping into the wall,” he said.

All jumps are relayed live to the Base Café in the Big Rush shop, and people can watch their jump on video within a few minutes afterwards. Videos are available for purchase.

The Big Rush Mount Blanc Elevator is open between 8 am and 7 pm every day.

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