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Guinness World Record Holder: Longest Full-Body Burn with No Oxygen
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Diver’s feat awes all - except police


9-13-2005
by Barbara Christian
Chargrin Falls


Local daredevil Ted Batchelor took his annual dive of the natural falls here Saturday night and by most standards, the stunt went off successfully. Batchelor makes the dive, after setting himself on fire, each year at the same time, 10 p.m.; on the same date, May 20. This year, however, the dive had to be postponed a week due to dangerous conditions posed by rain-swollen, fast-moving waters. The dive was not without side effects, however. In addition to being a dramatic looking spectacle it is also illegal and Batchelor, who has been warned for years (he’s been doing for eight in a row now) to cease and desist, now must face a June 26 Bedford Municipal Court date to answer charges of disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and prohibited swimming. HE WAS ARRESTED after he emerged from the river and locked up shortly after being officially charged. Bond was set at $300, disorderly conduct; $300, criminal trespass and $100, prohibited swimming. He was released on his own recognizance. According to police, the scenario was as follows: “Ted Batchelor conducted his annual fire dive despite the warning of Ptl. Gray (that) if he continued with the dive he would be subject to criminal charges. Mr. Batchelor made no reply, poured lighter fluid on himself, ignited the soaked clothing and dove into the river totally engulfed in flames.” What used to be a hush-hush event known to only a few, the fire dive, in recent years, has taken on mass proportions. Hundreds of people crowd the bridge railings and stairway to the falls and other, river-side locations to watch. This year, spectators were kept off the stairway because it would not hold the weight. Instead, they stood four-deep on the sidewalk above the falls, along the southern driveway area and on the covered stairway along the side of Goodtown Printers. Other more adventuresome souls scampered down the cliffs next to the river for a bird’s eye view from the rocks below. By now most folks know that Batchelor, a Chagrin graduate, does hope to gain notoriety from the dive. He hopes it will be the springboard to Hollywood, the movies and the membership elite stuntmen’s union. This year’s dive was made just about 10 p.m. When cheers rose from the crowd Batchelor was spotted walking out of the shadows onto the top of the fast-running falls. There was some fiddling with the preparations and then, suddenly there were flames, lots of them, covering Batchelor head to toe. There was more cheering and a too-long moment before he stepped to the edge and made a perfect swan dive into the water. There was another suspenseful wait until he was spotted again wading from the water to the arms of waiting police. Batchelor, a Bowling Green graduate with his own house painting business, has said in the past that he has no intention of breaking with tradition and will probably be doing his annual fire dive off the falls until he’s too old to walk or until Hollywood finally calls him. He’s hoping the latter will happen before the former. EDITOR’S NOTE: Batchelor would be the first to agree that the stunt he performs on the falls each year is highly dangerous, takes physical training, expertise and no small amount of preparation, understanding of pyrotechnics and knowledge of the rocks and water at the foot of the falls. Imitators should forget the idea.

Guinness World Record
Fire Dives
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Last 10 Burns
2015
December 12 Three minutes 3 seconds Tokyo Japan (Yamanogou) Personal best!!! Old style.Television production. 
December 04 2 minutes 45 seconds practice for Japan trip! *
November 29 1 minute 19 seconds first practice for Japan trip. *
July 10 44 seconds. "Running Bases on FIRE!!" for the Norfolk Tides! Great Stadium! Great Fans!! First time on fire in Virginia!! 
April 24 48 seconds! Ran. bases on fire!! For the Bridgeport Bluefish!!! Fun!!! Great people and fans!!!! First time on fire in Connecticut!! 
2014
June 05 2 minutes Fire falls farm *
2013
December 06 53 seconds - Salinas California Airport "Longest Run on Fire" TBD -History Channel **
December 05 61seconds Salinas Fire Dept #3 California. History Channel. 
October 19 38 seconds for 21 people!!!! New Guinness World Record!! **
October 09 35 seconds 36 seconds 2 burns traning for igniters  *

* Denotes Practice
** Performed for Guinness World Records


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