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Monday, October 2, 2023

Indian thrill-seeker, UAE-bound, skydives daily

Jithin Vijay, a former Dubai expat, is an adventurous soul who has always sought thrills in various sports, ranging from parkour and horse riding to ice skating. However, it was only a year ago that he discovered the exhilarating world of skydiving, and since then, there has been no looking back.

With over 200 successful jumps to his credit, Jithin has achieved an extraordinary milestone by setting not one but two world records in the realm of skydiving.

Taking his passion to unprecedented heights, Jithin decided to dive out of a plane from a jaw-dropping altitude of 43,000 feet. The momentous feat earned him the prestigious Guinness world records for the longest freefall time, an impressive 2 minutes and 47 seconds, and for the highest-altitude skydiving while carrying a flag.

The journey to attaining these records was not without its fair share of challenges. In a daring move, Jithin joined a retired army officer in Tennessee, who was orchestrating the jump for the third time. The previous attempts had mixed outcomes, with the first resulting in tragedy. Nevertheless, Jithin’s unwavering determination and courage pushed him to embrace this audacious endeavor.

In the build-up to the jump, intricate planning and preparation were essential. To ensure a safe dive from such an extraordinary height, Jithin conducted a test jump at 15,000 feet while carrying an oxygen tank on his back. During the main jump, the team strategically breathed in pure oxygen approximately 1.5 hours before the plunge.

As the adrenaline surged, challenges arose. Jithin had to face breathing difficulties and even a snapped goggle moments before the jump. However, he managed to keep his composure, and with meticulous timing, the team switched to their own oxygen supply just 10 seconds before the jump.

Upon successfully completing the daring dive, Jithin faced some physical repercussions, including the formation of blood clots in his chest and temporary voice loss due to the air that seeped into his helmet. Nevertheless, he expressed immense pride in achieving the records and conquering the sky from an altitude most can only dream of.

The UAE holds a special place in Jithin’s heart as his training base, where he hones his skydiving skills frequently. Just four hours away, the UAE offers top-notch facilities for skydiving, making it the ideal location for his practice sessions.

Reflecting on his time in the UAE, Jithin mentioned how both Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide unique experiences, with a special fondness for the welcoming atmosphere of Abu Dhabi, where people treat him like family.

With his sights set on new challenges, Jithin aspires to attempt a group dive in Abu Dhabi alongside 16 fellow skydivers from Kerala. However, before he embarks on the next thrilling escapade, he has a more personal mission – to pacify his caring wife, who is understandably concerned about his well-being after the intense jump, leading to a weight loss of around 6kg.

Jithin Vijay’s journey from a sporty individual to a skydiving trailblazer is a testament to his courage, determination, and passion for pushing the boundaries of human achievement. His accomplishments inspire awe and admiration, and he continues to set his sights on even greater heights in the world of skydiving.

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