Unique dunking to raise cash for charity

The helicopter dunking simulator at AIS.
The helicopter dunking simulator at AIS.

Fundraisers are being offered the chance of a unique dunking for charity.

Industrial trainer AIS is offering people an upside-down underwater dunking experience in a mock helicopter to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.

The event will take place on Saturday, December 5, in the survival pool at AIS’s training village in North Shields.

Willing victims will be kitted out in a survival suit, taken into a mock helicopter rig and raised to the roof of the offshore survival centre before being lowered into the pool.

The helicopter will then flip over and anyone taking part will need to escape by climbing out of the windows underwater.

AIS is aiming to raise at least £5,000 and anyone taking part will be expected to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship.

Places are limited. Anyone interested should email charityevent@aisgroup.co.uk

Grahame Pickering, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “We’d like to thank AIS for thinking of us.”

“As unusual fundraising events go, this is right up there. The money raised will go to supporting the air ambulance’s work throughout the region, so we hope plenty of people get behind it.”

Among those taking part is 74-year-old Jean Pinkerton from Stanley.

Mum-of-four and granny-of- six, Jean describes her decision to take part as ‘wonderfully scary’.

The former professional singer and writer said: “I’m really looking forward to the experience and I’ve been practising holding my breath in anticipation.

“A lot of my friends think I’m crazy to do something like this but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge.

“I think everyone should push themselves out of their comfort zone once in a while.

“The Great North Air Ambulance is a fantastic local cause so I’m happy to support them in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

AIS is holding an open day event at the same time and anyone looking for a career in energy, construction, engineering and heavy industry is invited to come along, see the world-class facilities and find out about the wide range of training available.