A win­ter solstice jump

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION / NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A group of iron-willed and hope­fully thick-skinned lo­cals were to leap from Pare­mata bridge this morn­ing to cel­e­brate the win­ter solstice.

Eight men and women were to make the jump at 6.30am, then re­tire to event or­gan­iser Phil Edge­combe’s house for pan­cakes and hot show­ers.

Many of Mr Edge­combe’s friends made ‘‘lame’’ ex­cuses to stay tucked up in bed, he said, but he re­cruited more peo­ple than he ex­pected through Face­book.

‘‘This is some­thing fun to do to cel­e­brate the short­est day.’’

Mr Edge­combe, 28, is ‘‘pas­sion­ate’’ about jump­ing off Pare­mata bridge, de­spite it get­ting him into hot wa­ter, so to speak, with the po­lice six years ago.

In the win­ter of 2005 bore­dom drove Mr Edge­combe and his friends to jump off the bridge one night at 10pm.

A passerby saw the jump and drew the wrong con­clu­sions.

‘‘Some­body saw us and thought a sui­cide was go­ing on and called the po­lice,’’ Mr Edge­combe said. ‘‘Ap­par­ently the po­lice had gone down there with night vi­sion and searched the in­let look­ing for this sui­cide jumper.’’

The story made it into

Kapi- Mana News, af­ter which Mr Edge­combe con­fessed to po­lice it was a false alarm.

‘‘We weren’t drunk or ob­nox­ious in any way. We were just bored,’’ he said. ‘‘ Look­ing back it was prob­a­bly a slightly silly thing to do but all’s well that ends well.’’

De­spite a Transit NZ sign on the bridge say­ing ‘‘No jump­ing or div­ing’’, the ac­tiv­ity is per­fectly legal and should be cel­e­brated, Mr Edge­combe said.

‘‘It’s nat­u­ral and it’s free and it’s fun, and it’s some­thing we should be en­cour­ag­ing our kids to do.’’

He hopes to make the mid­win­ter jump an an­nual event.

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