News

FOUR MEN IN Melbourne, Australia wanted to avoid paying for drinks so badly they jumped off the 55th floor of a building. The men were wearing business suits and had business suitcases with them while ordering expensive cocktails at Vue de monde, a prestigious restaurant.

“Basically, four guys came upstairs with parachutes hidden underneath their jackets,” restaurant owner Shannon Bennett told the Herald Sun.

After having some drinks, the group went to the bathroom and reportedly jumped from a balcony 243 metres tall, going into freefall before opening their parachutes. A chef at the restaurant said a getaway vehicle was waiting for them when they landed.

“We all reacted with a fair bit of calmness, because we’ve actually had training for this. It’s happened before at Rialto, happened several times before we’d taken over Vue de monde,” said Bennett about the restaurant staff reacting to the incident.

“We all knew what to do,” he added. “We just wanted to make sure first of all that they were safe—that was the first protocol: Getting downstairs, making sure there were no accidents, that everything was all right.”

Bennett said he will increase security measures in the restaurant and possibly block off the balcony for a period of time. He said the venue and the police, who are both investigating the incident, will be tracking YouTube videos as the four men had cameras strapped on their helmets.

Bennett said this is not an isolated incident. Base jumping—leaping from fixed objects like cliffs, bridges, or buildings with a parachute—is fairly common in Australia.

—Jane Lytvynenko