Express & Echo (Exeter) – wing-walk

September 2002

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Wing-walking is the latest challenge for city daredevil Dean

by Nick Warren 3rd September, 2002

EXETER man Dean Dunbar is preparing for a daring sky high challenge in aid of charity.
Later this month, the 33 year-old will wing-walk to raise money for the See-Ability charity, which cares for people with sight problems and other disabilities.
Dean, who suffer from sight problems lives with his wife Rhona in Monks Road, Mount Pleasant.
He has already done several bungee jumps, sky dived, been white water rafting and is one of only a few people to have been in a human catapult.
The wing-walk was originally going to be just a bit of fun, but Dean was then approached to see if he would do it for charity.
He said ” The wing-walk was just the next thing on the list of things I wanted to do”.
“See-Ability approached me to see if I would do an event for charity and I said that I would do the walk if they raised the money.”
“I have already done a few events this year for charity, so I did not want to go back to the same people and ask for more money.”
Dean will be standing on the wing of a moving aeroplane at the Yeovilton Air Show, Somerset, on September 21.
Dean’s previous exploits include white water rafting with Rhona on the River Sun Cosi in Nepal, where they capsized and were picked up 100 metres further down river.
Not content with that, Dean then had a go at white water sledginng where he went on a small surfboard along the rapids.
He is the only registered-blind person to have done a bungee jump from a helicopter – from 400m – and has also done a bungee jump from a cable car swinging 134m above a river canyon.
Dean has also tried his hand at deep sea diving, kayaking, snowboarding and stunt-flying.
He also comments on his website – www.extremedreams.co.uk – that he he has tried flying by wire, tandem skydiving and cliff jumping.
A more sedate achievement saw Dean carry the baton when the Queen’s Jubilee Relay visited Exeter earlier this summer.
Dean has always been keen on extreme sports, so decided to get as much done as he could before he completely loses his sight . Rhona, a city GP, has joined in with most activities.
While he is registered blind, Dean says he has enough sight to allow him to walk around quite happily.
“I guess I can see for about 6ft in front of me,” he said.
“That is fine for walking but anything quicker than that I am really struggling.”
He had full vision until he was nine when his sight suddenly deteriorated. His level of vision remained the same for 18 years until 1996 when he was diagnosed with Rod and Cone Dystrophy.
Dean’s sight took a turn for the worse and he was registered blind within a year of diagnosis.
He and Rhona married in May and honeymooned in Scotland. There Dean was offered a job with an outdoor pursuit company.
He said: “The company is moving towards extreme sports and it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
“We are going to be heading back there some time in October and I am really looking forward to that.”
If you would like to sponsor Dean’s wing-walk contact Fiona Spotswood on 01823 667884. Cheques, made payable to SeeAbility, should be sent to The Bill Cooke Centre, Drakes Park North, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 8TB.
by Nick Warren
The Express & Echo

SPONSORS

These sponsors have been a tremendous help in supplying kit and support for my challenges.