Near-death stunt: highwire snaps under walker

Swiss “extremartist” Freddy Nock experienced a moment of pure terror when a tightwire suspended 50 meters above the Moscow River snapped during a public performance on Thursday.

The famous tightrope walker had been billed as the star turn at the grand opening of an international circus festival in the Russian capital.

Nock made several attempts to walk on the wire, but turned back each time after advancing only 10-20 meters.

“The problem was that a spotlight was shining directly at me, making the wire almost impossible to see. It was also quite windy up there. But worst of all – the wire was sagging under me,” Nock later told journalists.

The blinding spotlight was turned off and the wire was tightened to mitigate the problem, but it turned out to be an unwise move. When the performer tried to step on it, the wire snapped. Nock, who was not wearing a safety harness, managed to grab the crane’s boom. Luckily, he survived the incident unscathed.  

Freddy Nock is a world famous and record-breaking extreme stunt performer. He started training in the art of tightrope walking when he was four. One of his performances included traversing a wire in the Swiss Alps at a height of 1,600 meters in freezing temperature of -15 degrees Celsius.

The circus festival in Moscow has gathered performers from all over the world, including the United States, China, Italy, France, Germany, Ukraine and other countries. The event is dedicated to the memory of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the founder of the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo.