God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Wednesday, November 2, 2005


Now why did anyone involved in this bit of stupidity ever think this might be a good idea?
Student Launched From Catapult Died After Missing Safety Net

A UNIVERSITY student died after being hurled 100ft through the air by a medieval-style "trebuchet" catapult, an inquest heard yesterday.

Kostydin Yankov, 19, an Oxford University student, suffered multiple injuries and serious spinal damage when he fell short of the safety net.
Well, England is still a free country - so one can choose to stupidly risk their life if they so desire. However, it's not like there weren't warning signs:
Oliver Nelkin, a fellow member of the Stunt Factory, said he was "very anxious" about their safety after seeing the previous four land so close to the edge.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Nelkin said: "The first guy to be shot landed on the net, but right on the edge of it. It seemed like he was going far too slowly, too low, to even make it. It looked like there wasn't enough energy to get him there."


The machine was designed and built in April 2000 by David Aitkenhead, 46, and Richard Wicks, 34, both founder members of the Dangerous Sports Club.


The device is based on the trebuchets used in medieval times to hurl rocks and dead animals over castle walls during sieges. It uses a tonne of lead weight to give a see-saw effect and propel volunteers hundreds of feet into the air. Mr Aitkenhead and Mr Wicks charged thrill-seekers £40 a ride at a field in Woolavington, near Bridgwater.

The prototype was built in Mr Aitkenhead's garden in 1998 and tested by Mr Wicks's partner, Stella Young, who broke her pelvis after bouncing out of the net.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this ill fated caper. You've won the Daily Dumbass Award.


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