An Aberdeen escapologist has successfully recreated an act performed by legendary magician Harry Houdini.
The showman was trussed in chains and then launched into the icy waters of Aberdeen Harbour in front of a crowd of thousands on July 1 1909.
Now, more than 110 years later, Dave Goulding paid tribute to the feat yesterday after being chained, shackled, padlocked and locked inside a heavy sack at the quayside.
It was just yards from where Houdini had performed his daring escape, but modern-day health and safety rules meant he was not allowed to enter the water.
Dave, 58, said his escape was “fantastic” and he enjoyed being able to pay his own tribute to the world’s most famous magician.
He said: “It was fantastic and I’m not sure anyone else has done it even in 110 years.
“Houdini is a great hero of anyone into magic or escapology.
“The target we set was under two minutes and I did it in just a shade over 40 seconds.
“A little more than 110 years ago, just off the north breakwater, Houdini did an escape to publicise his show.
“He was in big chains and got chucked in the water off a tugboat and he got out no problem.
“I wasn’t going into the water because currents are running and there’s a lot of pollution.”
Back in 1909, Houdini was in the city for a run of shows at the former Palace Theatre – now ATIK nightclub – and he also visited the grave of John Henry Anderson, the Aberdeenshire man known as the “Wizard of the North”.
A report from his dramatic harbour escape said: “Then suddenly, he resurfaced, triumphant and free from his shackles.”
Yesterday’s escape took place at the Aberdeen Lifeboat station as part of an open day.
Terry McNeil, from Aberdeen Lifeboat, said there was never any chance of Mr Goulding completely recreating the original trick.
He said: “Houdini was literally 200 metres away from us and he actually jumped into the water off a boat. The police tried to stop him that day but were unsuccessful.
“But they managed to persuade Dave not to go in – health and safety meant it was a non-starter.”
Mr Goulding’s talents will be on show at the upcoming fundraising magic show called Harbour Sleights, which is being held in aid of the volunteer crew later this month.
The show will take place at the Tivoli Theatre on August 30.