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A South African successfully flies across the sea from Nelson Mandela's apartheid island

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A South African man yesterday successfully flew across the sea from Nelson Mandela's apartheid island prison using helium-filled giant party balloons.

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.

Matt 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.

Making his way wearing a wetsuit, he floated a few metres above the sea, with controls for flight including bags weighted with water and an air gun and make-shift spear to pop balloons.

The daring mission aimed to raise 10 million rand ($1.1 million, 852,000 euros) for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital which will be built in Johannesburg.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130409/south-african-successfully-flies-across-the-sea-nelson-mandelas-aparthe