Guinness World Record holder and Royal Marine reservist Richard Browning has attracted criticism for using a jet suit to fly through Durdle Door, a famed sea arch on the south coast of England.
This clip from Tom Whitchurch shows Browning flying through Dorset’s iconic limestone arch on September 11, as someone on the strand is heard saying, “Please don’t smash into the rocks.”
“We heard the engines firing up and I thought it was a low flying aircraft or something similar. Then he just came up from the rear of the boat. It looked very futuristic and quite new technology. I have seen it done with water jets but not jet engine tech. It looked fun,” Whitchurch told Storyful. “We watched him for the entire duration of his flights. He did three flights and then the boat and accompanying safety jet skis headed back towards Weymouth.”
Durdle Door has been subject to stunts in the past, but this year has seen increased “exploitation” of the site, a spokesperson for Lulworth Rangers told the Dorset Echo.
“Is the beauty that mother nature created not enough? Just because it is there, doesn’t mean you should jump off, climb up… or fly through it,” Lulworth Rangers said in a Facebook post. “The widespread publicity around Durdle Door has made our national icon a target for everyone wanting a viral sensation. This exploitation is a sad reflection of how we value nature: a commodity to promote ourselves with no regard for the environment. Our beach warden Tim said the smell of kerosene was overwhelming, the noise deafening and the military-grade drone intimidating. Not the experience our beach-goers want at a natural World Heritage Site.” Credit: Tom Whitchurch via Storyful