British Army soldier Deane Smith is preparing to take a death defying leap from a mountain to raise awareness of a charity that helps servicemen injured on the battlefield.
Corporal Smith, of Yatesbury, is part of a three man team preparing to trek, climb and hike through the snow, ice and rock formations to get to the top of the Eiger in Switzerland, before they launch themselves more than 13,000 feet back to the base with just a parachute to protect them, all in aid of Help For Heroes.
Mr Smith, 37, said: “Having recently served in Afghanistan I feel that taking this calculated risk to support our wounded soldiers is a great way of recognising their dedication.
“When I was out in Afghanistan I did a lot of work extracting casualties from explosions so I have witnessed the sorts of injuries soldiers suffer.
“I know several soldiers who were injured out there, and a lot of them have been helped by Help For Heroes, so I wanted to do something to raise awareness of the charity.”
Cpl Smith is a Para Commando Corporal in the Royal Engineers who spent seven months in Afghanistan last year, and is likely to return in September.
He is an avid parachutist and has been skydiving for 15 years, but base jumping is something new to the 37-year-old.
“I think because I have been doing parachute jumps for so long that will help me get over the nerves of the base jump,” he said.
“I was away on a military exercise when I got involved in sports parachuting, and I have now done more than 4,000 jumps.
“The freefalling will be fine, it is the climb and the standing at the top that will be difficult.”
The base jump is weather permitting and the team will have to undertake several practice jumps from different cliff faces before they leap from the famous mushroom plateau.
For more information about the Jump For Heroes, or to sponsor the team, visit www.jump4heroes.com.