Four men dressed in business suits base jumped from the top of one of Melbourne’s tallest buildings on Tuesday night.
The four ordered Negroni cocktails at the Vue de Monde restaurant on Level 55 of the 63 storey Rialto Towers before parachuting to the ground at about 7.30pm.
“They were in suits, had parachutes hidden under their jackets and helmets with cameras,” restaurant owner Shannon Bennett said.
“They really knew what they were doing.” The men landed safely on the ground and had a getaway car waiting for them. The four did not pay for their cocktails before the jump, Mr Bennett said.
“Basically, four guys came upstairs with parachutes hidden underneath their jackets,” Mr Bennett said.
“We don’t allow anyone to bring any baggage upstairs so basically we asked them to take the baggage off them.
“They said they needed it for a presentation they were doing in the function and we told them to obviously get the gear out for the presentation and they proceeded to do so.
“They ordered some drinks at the bar.
“One went to the bathroom, followed by the rest, straight out to the balcony and pretty much jumped straight off.”
Mr Bennett said the men locked the balcony doors behind them so staff couldn’t catch them before they made the plunge.
“I ran from the kitchen into the room and I just saw a flash of them jumping over, and at that stage none of us knew what the hell was going on,” he said.
“The only thing that gave it away which I didn’t see was they were wearing helmets with cameras on them, and that’s what was in the suitcase.”
The acclaimed chef said there was a getaway vehicle waiting on the corner of Collins and King Sts when they landed.
“I didn’t see them get into the car but there was definitely a car downstairs waiting for them. I tried to run downstairs and try and catch them.
“It was just too late, they were just really quick at what they were doing, it was just very well planned and they’ve obviously done this sort of stuff before.
“They had cameras on their helmets so I’m sure we’ll all see it on YouTube pretty soon.
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“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.
“We all knew what to do. 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 alright,” he said.
Mr Bennett said he would have to increase security measures and possibly close off the balcony for a period of time.
“We thought our plan was pretty good…” he said.
“These guys that jumped last night looked at our security measures, because we’ve got pretty good security measures up there, they knew exactly what they were doing.
Mr Bennett said the venue would use a combination of CCTV and YouTube to hunt the daredevils down, and that police were also investigating.