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Red Bull Balloon Dive

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Four-time World Series-winning champion cliff diver, Rhiannan Iffland, in a temporary COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the cliff diving competition circuit, thought to herself: ‘What on earth can I jump out of next?’

Having already jumped out of helicopters and off buildings and bridges, she knew she needed to “think outside the box”. And so she landed on the idea of a hot air balloon. Naturally.

And, just like that, in April 2021 she became the first human being to ever dive out of a moving hot air balloon. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty ridiculous.

Enter: The Shift, engaged by Rhi’s major partner Red Bull to manage the project, taking it from a cliff divers dream first-time concept, through feasibility and planning, to being brought to life in the flesh.

The right location had to be sourced, as well as supporting permissions from NSW State Government, RAAF, CASA, and other major authorities.

The project operated within a one month ‘weather window’, as we searched for the perfect flight and dive conditions to ‘Green Light’ the project and assemble the entire team.

A marked ‘Dive Zone’ indicated the pre-checked area of sufficient depth for the diver’s safe entry into the water (min 5m). This area was also pre-checked by underwater divers to ensure the water was safe of any unseen objects, the area for this was approx. 90,000m2

A specialist Water Safety Team including paramedics and water extraction specialists were on hand in the dive zone to retrieve the diver and for any medical emergencies.

With a balloon moving at the mercy of the wind, there was mere seconds and ‘one chance’ to complete the dive, meaning the planning and timing needed to be extremely precise for success.

The Dive was filmed for News, Online, Red Bull TV.