Cumberland's Andrew completes jump for the ages

Cumberland's Andrew completes jump for the ages

Cumberland resident David Andrew says you’re never too old to do something daring, like jump the 142-foot drop from the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge in New Zealand. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

CUMBERLAND – According to his official certificate from A.J. Hackett Bungy New Zealand, David Andrew conquered “a challenge that entitles you to bragging rights for life." He used his “nerves of steel, rubber cord and a thirst for adventure” to successfully bungee jump at the global home of bungy (spelled bungee in U.S.), the Queenstown bridge.

And at 75 years old, Andrew, of Hadde Avenue in Cumberland, is also one of the oldest people to ever complete the 142-foot jump, a feat typically completed by 20-somethings who are into “macho things” involving "lots of testosterone," he said.

So few senior citizens show up to complete this jump that Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry Van Asch waived the $150 participation fee, said Andrew. Dozens of people cheered him on as he made the leap.

Was he scared?

“If you're not nervous, you've gotta be stupid,” said Andrew, who had to be weighed four times to make sure everything was just right for the jump.

The hardest part, he said, was going against his strong inclination to leap out feet first, instead jumping out head first as required. After completing the jump, he was pulled down and flipped onto his back into an inflatable raft.

Andrew jumped off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, a bridge running over the Kawarau River in the Otago region in the South Island of New Zealand. The site was the world's first commercial bungee jumping site.

He said he'll never forget the feeling of exhilaration after completing the jump.

Andrew, a retired electrician, said he's now been to 53 countries, many of those since ending his professional career. While he travels mostly because it's immensely enjoyable, he said, “I've also learned a hell of a lot by traveling. Traveling is my way of going to college.”

Also on the September trip to New Zealand, Andrew visited the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street in Dunedin.

The side angle of Cumberland resident David Andrew jumping off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge in New Zealand.
The view from above as Andrew completes his jump.