Photos: Man uses balloons to fly from old Mandela jail

Photos: Man uses balloons to fly from old Mandela jail

Credit: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images

Matt Silver-Vallance flies above Table Bay, with some of his support crew in boats from Nelson Mandela's apartheid island prison using helium-filled giant party balloons, on April 6, 2013 in Cape Town. The six-kilometre (3.7-mile) crossing, to raise funds for a children's hospital named after the country's former president, was the first stunt of its kind from the historical site. Silver-Vallance, 37, took around an hour to float across the Atlantic Ocean from Robben Island while harnessed to a mass of multi-coloured balloons in grey, drizzly conditions with low visibility.

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by Associated Press

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 11:30 AM

JOHANNESBURG - A man has strapped himself to large balloons filled with helium and floated from the island where Nelson Mandela was kept prisoner to the shores of the South African mainland.

The goal of Saturday's trip from Robben Island was to help raise money for the building of a children's hospital that will carry the name of the 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid leader. Mandela was discharged Saturday from a hospital after treatment for pneumonia.

Balloonist Matt Silver-Vallance, a South African-born manager at a medical device company, dropped a rope near the coastline and a sea rescue craft pulled him to safety.

He had hoped to raise $1 million for the hospital, but organizers of the charity event have not yet announced the final tally.

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