Outside Edge: How to avoid long arm of law

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The Independent Online

Cop a look before you drop. British base-jumper Shaun Walters leapt off the 25th floor of a skyscraper in Chicago only to find a policeman waiting to arrest him at the bottom.

An officer happened to be walking by and heard a popping sound above him, then saw Walters' parachute opening.

Perhaps the 44-year-old from Rugby should invest in a jetpack so he can take off again as soon as he hits the ground. The Martin Jetpack is all set to go on sale later this year at a price of £50,000 after it managed to stay airborne for seven minutes in Auckland, New Zealand, last week. It will be able to travel at 60mph at heights of 160ft for 31 minutes.

If you get stuck up a tree, you might get lucky and encounter the firefighters who are claiming a world record for the longest journey driven in a fire engine. The London crew of 25 worked in shifts and went round the world in 207 days in aid of charity, blazing a trail all the way.


Amount raised for charity by Sir Steve Redgrave when he ran the London Marathon in 2006, the highest by a celebrity by a very long way. Second is Alastair Campbell (£319,000) with Peter Andre (£22,000) third. His ex-wife Katie Price pulled out this year with a knee injury – no Zeppelin race today.

The blind leading the blindfolded

Congratulations to Steve Thiele, who broke the world record for water-skiing the longest distance in open sea while blindfolded when he went 23.85 miles around the island of Anglesey in an hour.

The 45-year-old from Audley in Staffordshire is blind – but he had to wear a blindfold in order to comply with regulations.

In Luoyang, China, the kung fu master Feng Hu has had crowds wondering if they can believe their eyes as he picks up steel nails with his eyelids and swings buckets of water from them.

Meanwhile a children's cross-country race on the misty Moel Tryfan mountain in Gwynedd, Wales, went badly wrong when a man went around stealing the signs that had been put up every 15 yards to show the route. Apparently a Welsh "activist" took down the markers because they were written in English. He must have lost his mind.

Good week

Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail three times round the world non-stop when the Briton, 38, completed the Barcelona World Race with Anna Corbella...

Shane Watson broke the record for most sixes in a one-day international when he hit 15 for Australia against Bangladesh in Mirpur – the previous best was 12 by West Indies' Xavier Marshall...

Mohamed Al Fayed, Fulham FC owner and Michael Jackson fan, is asked to sing and dance in a new musical about Jacko, "Man in the Mirror".

Bad week

Kevin Na, the American golfer, set a PGA Tour record for the worst score on a par-four hole when he took 16 shots at the ninth during the Texas Open at San Antonio...

Berlin Cricket Committee have been told they must not play on the only pitch in the city, at Kornerplatz, because of safety fears about parked cars and spectators getting hit...

Jimmer Fredette, the leading student NBA prospect, is told to stop attending class at Brigham Young University because he is too famous.

Footballers should keep a close watch

It's been a worrying week for the world's best footballers. Lionel Messi's brother Matias had to dive for cover when a drive-by gunman peppered his house with bullets in Rosario, Argentina. Ashley Cole is still at large. And Didier Drogba's family home in Guiberoua, Ivory Coast, was set alight by opponents of the deposed dictator Laurent Gbagbo.

Diego Maradona has heard that the Golden Ball he won at the 1986 World Cup was stolen by the mafia in Naples when the Argentinian played there and then melted down into gold bars. The revelation came from the Mob boss Salvatore Lo Russo when he was cross-examined in an Italian court.

"I did give him back four watches that were stolen," he added. "But one of them was not his so he gave it back to me."

Meanwhile a habitual thief in Barcelona has been arrested after he gave the game away because of his close resemblance to the former Barça footballer Ronaldinho. Catalans say they wuz robbed.