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Kondini
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Last week after the Blackpool Convention I was engaged to supply restraints to a bottled water company who had booked Jonathon Royal to do an underwater escape.
Speaking with Jonathon a few times before the meet I was pretty uneasy about him doing this gag (A pro magician but with little knowledge of escapology,) I mentioned my concerns to him but he felt he could do this with no problems.
Came the day of the gag we spent an hour going through the release details, Jonathon could see no problems. The Press were assembled and the restraints put on. It was a very cold February day with intermitant ice like showers, a large wheeley bin (Waste disposal unit) Was filled to the brim by the local Fire Brigade, all was ready, Jonathon gave a brief talk before being lifted and dropped into the ice cold water (Even before he hit the water he was shivering from head to toe), Well he lasted a mere 30 odd seconds before shooting to the surface looking like death warmed up, not all of the restraints had been clearly removed and his whole body was on the move it was obvious he was the worse for ware. He just about got away with it Press wise but health wise he put the fear of death up me. So an important lesson to us all, over confidence in this line of work can and will kill, safety first and last. Also if you must do water escapes in February in the UK make sure the water is warm before you get in !!
The Donster
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Kondini I think he should of listened to you or at least took some advice from you. I know I try and get as much information as possible. and I think practice until one has it down to a good timing. to get out. I've seen most Magicians use the chain handcuff release not sure on the name of it and the Takeda handcuffs with the funny looking lever on the side. Don,
KerryJK
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How much cold water training had he done prior to this attempt? Did he even trouble to run through the routine before it was to be performed?

Maybe I'm being naive here (after all, he's a professional magi and I'm a rank amateur) but to me that sounds like a textbook example of how not to approach a dangerous stunt.
James Peters
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Sounds like this guy needed a bit more research, and a few ice cold baths!

Just a note on cold water .... if you're going to be under for a while (1½ - 2½ mins), colder water is actually better, but you wear a shorty (wetsuit) under your clothes. Just make sure anything fiddly is done really quick.

Use an ice-cold flannel, and put it on the back of your neck prior to getting into the water; it prepares your body for the shock, which enters a "survival" mode ... heart rate slows etc, less oxygen used - you can stay down longer.

I have not used this from the escapology side; my experience comes from UK Diving, and the silly competitions we get up to in winter, like how long we can hold our breath in water which is about 3 degrees!

Take care,

James.
Kondini
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I am not sure about his own preparation but believe he practised holding his breath for as long as possible under water (Stuck his head in a bucket). On the gag he wore shorts and T shirt but I think gave it too much patter before getting on with the job, I could see him getting colder and colder during the run up to the dipping. We ran through the restraint release a couple of times during the hour before the gag and I exchanged some of the cuffs tried out for instant release cuffs (Thank God I did !).
SANTINI
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Ken,
The guy should thank his lucky stars he had you on hand to be of help. I really do wish more people doing risky escapes would seriously think them, and every aspect that could go wrong, out before trying them.

While this person you mention did not meet with a tragic outcome, somehow the story you related reminds me of all the folks who have treid and failed to get out of a coffin buried under 6 ft of concrete.

In all of these failures it seems the coffin has collapsed under the crushing weight of the concrete. No you would think that the "pros" who decided to attempt such releases would have first dug a test grave, put the EMPTY coffin into it, and then poured on the concrete to see if it would bear the weight. Did they? No.

Like I said, people should give a heck of a lot more thought to every aspect of what they plan to try and pull off. Steve Santini
Kondini
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Your right on, if anything had happened I would have blamed myself, I don't mind chancing my own neck now and again but another`s no way.He had a wife and kids too, the wife was with him, you should have seen her reaction afterwards, not pleasant at all, I think that if asked to supervise again then full dress rehearsals are a must.
EscapeMaster
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You must be talking about this chap: Here!

The chap who says:
"Lots of people have got out of chains in the past but apart from Houdini, no one's ever done it in water."

That comment alone suggests he should not be doing escapes. You should have done it, Ken!
KerryJK
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Good grief.. having read that article, I'm worried.

Quote:
Now, a videotape of his audacious attempt will be sent to the Guinness Book of Records for verification.

He said: "I'm going for a new world record.

"Lots of people have got out of chains in the past but apart from Houdini, no one's ever done it in water."


Erm, which record would that be, then? World's most lax preparation? World's most barefaced interview?

Quote:
He said: "Anyone can do a David Blaine and sit in a box for 40 days, but I hope somebody gives me a television show now."


If no-one does, I shudder to think what he'll try next. "Hey, I shouldn't have any trouble swallowing fifteen swords and turning them, anyone can do it!"
Kondini
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Thanks for the link, yes that's the one, amazing how you can get so much publicity from a duff gag !!!
Re the Houdini comments, this must have been discussed in private with the press, I had no idea. Only sensible remark made was `Never Again` ! That goes for me too.
robd
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The same gentleman has also done publicity stunts such as exposing his genitals on daytime television.

http://www.hypnotorious.com if you're particularly interested.
James Peters
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Wow ... thanks for sharing that! I was just about to eat dinner, too! Smile

Interesting website he has!!

James.
robd
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Sorry about that Smile
James Peters
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Quite all right! Completely forgiven!! Smile

James.
Kondini
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That must have taken a lot of B***S
robd
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Although I fear he may have ended up looking a d**k
James Peters
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Oh dear. Those are two of the worst puns I've ever come across! Smile

LOL.

James.
Kondini
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Did you say puns or was it bums !!
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