Corringham: Ex-Soldier Takes Charity Plunge

24 June 2012, 08:00

A former soldier from Corringham wants to raise £500,000 and has now broken a world record by staying underway for 5 days.

Ex-Royal Engineer Mark Colman managed to stay submerged in a water tank for 100hours and 22 minutes in a bid to raise £500,000 for Veterans in Action (VIA), a charity which he says has changed his life.

It is the first time he has dived for more than a decade after he lost a friend in an underwater accident.

The 44-year-old, who served in the first Gulf War, said: "This is a huge personal challenge for me.

"Two tragedies changed my life, the death of a friend in a diving accident, as well as the loss of my sister, which led to me suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.''

He took part in the challenge at the Underwater Studios in Basildon on Tuesday where he stayed in the 20ft deep tank.

Mr Colman, who left the Army in 1994 and took up a job as a commercial diver, was allowed just a 20-minute break for food and water every four hours.

The previous world record had stood at 100 hours. 

Speaking to Heart after the challenge Mr Colman said: "I'm feeling over the moon now, but Wednesday night it nearly got abandoned as my hands were on fire."

VIA, set up by Billy MacLeod, also an ex-Royal Engineer, who had to leave the services because of injury, aims to support former members of the armed forces who find civilian life difficult.