Matt Silver-Vallance, 37, achieved what lots of young men have been striving to do since the birth of the helium balloon: float attached to helium balloons. Admit it, we’ve all tried it more or less failingly. Heck, as a child, I’ve even tried using a large umbrella to… ergh, nevermind about that.
The man crossed the 12km of water separating Nelson Mandela’s old prison island, and Cape Town in South Africa by suspending himself in a harness attached to an estimated 160 helium balloons. He also carried some bags filled with water as ballast, a long spear as well as a BB gun, surely to explode the balloons if the need came. This covers the scholar and stuntman parts of the title.
Was it only a fun stunt? No, Mr.Silver-Vallance did it to gather funds and help build the Nelson Mandela’s children’s hospital in Johannesbourg, hence the philantropist.
In this video, courtesy of YouTube and The Telegraph TV, Mr.Silver-Vallance can be seen take off, and land on an inflatable raft, before releasing the balloons into the atmosphere.
“Go, fly, be free balloons.” -Me, amateur comedian.