A fearless OAP has leapt into the record books after becoming Britain’s oldest female SKYDIVER – at the grand age of 94.
Adeline Franken proved age is no barrier after braving the 15,000ft jump on Sunday (Aug 4) to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
It’s not the first time the adrenaline junkie has skydived after jumping out of a plane at 14,000ft in 2012.
However, she’s not lost the knack and said after completing her latest challenge: “There is nothing to it really, you just move towards the edge and kind of flop out.
“You start to fall, then when you are well clear of the aircraft the parachute opens and you go back up.”
Adeline jumped from two miles up for just under a minute, at 120 miles per hour, before opening her parachute and touching down gracefully.
Amazingly, while doing so she became the oldest woman in Britain to ever undertake such a challenge.
When asked why she took on the daredevil feat at Cark Airfield in Grange-over-Sands, she simply responded: “It’s just something to do – better than watching paint dry.”
The skydive took place with Jodie Evans, Abbeyfield Cove House manager, Ann Epps, vice-chair of the Grange-over-Sands branch of the RNLI, and other friends in attendance.
However, when she is not jumping out of a plane, Adeline, who lives at Abbeyfield Cove House in Silverdale, still finds plenty to occupy her time.
She takes advantage of a wide variety of activities on offer to residents, including yoga, music sessions, flower arranging, and knitting for a women’s hospital in Ethiopia.
Adeline also enjoys walking around the grounds and taking trips into Carnforth, where she attends communion and catches up with her friends over a coffee.
Cove House manager Jodie Evans said: “We knew Adeline was a bit of a daredevil, but we never expected to have her take on a skydive.
“It’s a tremendous achievement for her and one we are all so proud of. The slideshow of photos has also been a real highlight for our other residents to watch.”
Adeline wanted to raise money for the RNLI because she has a strong passion for the charity and great respect for its volunteer crew who save lives at sea.
“My father-in-law was a captain in the Netherlands Merchant Navy,” she added. “His ship was torpedoed on a run from Holland to South America. He and his crew had to be rescued.
“I think the RNLI do such a fantastic job. If my skydive will help to raise a great deal of money for them, then that’s all that matters.”
Chris Clouter, RNLI volunteer press officer at Barrow Lifeboat Station, said: “We at the RNLI are so lucky to have supporters like Adeline raising money for our charity.
“Barrow Lifeboat Station wants to say a huge thank you to Adeline, on behalf of the RNLI, and also congratulations on such an impressive achievement!
“The RNLI is a charity and we depend on donations like this as we provide a 24/7 search and rescue service.”
RNLI area fundraising manager Adele Sherwood added: “Adeline is such an inspirational character, and has proved that it’s never too late to try something new.
“The RNLI are so grateful to have such amazing supporters like Adeline, who raise vital funds for our charity and helps us save lives at sea.”
The RNLI is a charity which depends on donations, like the funds raised by Adeline, to train and equip volunteers and in turn help them save lives at sea.
Around 150 people still lose their lives in the UK and Irish waters annually, and the RNLI aims to half the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
Adeline is hoping to raise over £1,000. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adeline-franken.