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1974: Human cannonball misses target
A woman fired from a cannon in Bristol has failed to break the English record for the second time.

Mary Connors, 21, aimed to be shot further than anyone else had yet achieved in England by clearing the River Avon and landing in a safety net.

Before the attempt on Saturday Ms Connors said she was confident of success.

"We've been working flat out on the cannon ever since Wednesday and I think we've ironed out all the faults," she said.

'Swimming lessons'

Ms Connors said she was persevering in spite of her failure on Wednesday because "it's a challenge to get to the other side".

She had not taken out personal insurance for the attempts, Ms Connors added, but she had taken "a few swimming lessons".

In the event they came in handy as Ms Connors, a secretary, again fell short and end up in the water.

Events took a farcical turn when two men in a rescue boat also fell in the water as they attempted to pull her out.

The three then had to be rescued by another boat which was standing by with a frogman aboard.

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Watch/Listen
Mary Connors being shot out of cannon
Mary Connors said she wanted a challenge

A ducking for everyone after human cannonball attempt


Human canonballs
The first human cannonball act is believed have taken place in 1870s England
The most famous cannon balling family was the Zacchini brothers who began in 1922
Two Zacchinis are said to have collided in mid-air after being shot from opposite ends of a circus ring - one broke his back
Emanuel Zacchinis set a world record distance of 175 feet (53 metres) in 1940
It was broken in 1995 by American David Smith who was shot 180 feet (54.97 metres)
More than 30 human cannon balls have been killed
Stories From 25 Aug


 
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