The UK’s last human cannonball has broken both ankles after a performance in Lynn on Saturday afternoon.
Shane Beare, 26, was completing his stunt at Mr Fips Wonder Circus at Knights Hill when the accident happened, and he had to be taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.
Mr Beare said: “Everything was normal, I’d checked my levels and everything like that because if anything was to happen, I can’t blame anyone but myself.”
Jan Erik Brenner, who founded Mr Fips Wonder Circus, said: “During the live performance, Shane missed his target and ended up with two broken ankles. He has been grounded for the foreseeable future.”
“I just lost my concentration for a split second and I didn’t quite make the mat,” Mr Beare added.
Mr Brenner, who plays the eponymous clown of the show, said that Mr Beare has performed as a human cannonball about 160 other times, but this was just one time where human error played a part.
“He is no stranger to the dangers involved,” he added.
Around 300 people were in the audience when the accident happened, including members of the stuntman’s family.
“My dad came down to see me perform, but he didn’t know anything different – he didn’t know whether it was a mistake or not,” he said.
Mr Beare explained that he went to the hospital in the ambulance on his own, without telling his family what had happened immediately, because he wanted to avoid worrying anyone.
It was originally thought that Mr Beare had broken one ankle and severely strained the other, but since the accident, and a number of hospital appointments later, it has been found that both are broken.
Mr Beare is due to have an operation on his left ankle at the QEH today.
The stuntman is strong-willed though, and has said until he can perform in the cannon again, he will still be working with his colleagues but this time at the box office selling tickets.
“I definitely want to get back into work,” Mr Beare said.
“He is determined that he will get back to the cannonball as soon as possible,” Mr Brenner added.
Mr Fips Wonder Circus will be on at Knights Hill until Sunday, September 18, when it will move to Denver for a week of performances starting next week.
As Mr Brenner said: “The show must go on.”