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When: 5 October 2017
Where: Blackwall Point, Greenwich

Livett’s played an integral role in one of the most daring, eye-catching stunts in recent River Thames history in October 2017.

In a stunt to promote Nitro Circus heading to The O2 next year, renowned daredevil stuntman Travis Pastrana performed a world-first motorcycle backflip between two barges on the water.

Although the jump itself may have been over in a matter of heart-pumping seconds, the work behind making it happen was a much longer process!

The start of Travis’ journey on the Thames came months before, as Livett’s set out to find a suitable location for the stunt. Our mooring Orchard Buoy at Blackwall Point, Greenwich, was chosen, ideal due to its unbroken backdrop view of The O2, the very arena the stunt was intended to promote ticket sales for.

nitro circus barges blackwall point

Once the location was agreed upon, Livett’s set out working out a methodology which would ensure the stunt was successful.

We worked closely with the Port of London Authority (PLA) to gain permissions, which included a detailed risk assessment and meetings with harbour masters to work out how the stunt could be achieved safely but with maximum effect.

We also worked closely with the production team behind it to come up with the most suitable barges for the stunt. The crucial factors in play here were that the barges had to be fixed in position but also be an appropriate length for Travis to both gain enough speed for take off and have enough room to come to a safe stop on the other side.

travis pastrana nitro circus barge ramp

Whilst the necessary barges were secured, permissions were granted and the time came for us to carry out the work.

We chose a plot of land inside the Royal Docks to rig the barges and set up a test run for the jump. This was the airport cut berth by the runway of London City Airport. This amount of available free quayside land is a rarity in London currently, so this was a key spot to allow a successful test run before the stunt itself. An added bonus was its location so close to Orchard Buoy itself.

travis pastrana nitro circus barge construction

From start to finish the rig and derigging of the stunt took a full week, using a 50 metre x 10 metre barge as the “take-off” platform and one 40 metre x 10 metre barge for the landing. Both of them were secured in position by their own spud legs, with the assistance of a crane barge to pitch them.

Naturally, total accuracy was absolutely vital when securing the barges into position for the stunt, as the distance of 21 metres between the barges needed to be precise in order for Travis to make the jump safely.

travis pastrana nitro circus barge ramp

The weather – in particular the wind – was also a big factor in the safe execution of the stunt and so a keen eye was kept on this. Despite poor conditions in the morning, it cleared in time for a perfect afternoon allowing the stunt to go off without a hitch.

Safety boats, divers and paramedics were all on site, while a river closure was put in force to ensure a stunt of this nature was as safe as it could possibly be. Our versatile vessel Equity was utilised as a camera boat.

travis pastrana motorbike barge

Once everything was in place, it was simply down to Travis to climb onto his motorbike and do something the world has never seen before. He needed no encouragement to do so, and he did the business in style!

Watch the breathtaking flip unfold:

The stunt produced some spectacular photography and the team behind it were absolutely delighted with the results.

travis pastrana nitro circus motorbike flip o2

travis pastrana nitro circus o2 motorbike flip

travis pastrana

The derig began in earnest when Travis and his team departed, with tugs Christian and Felix helping to clear the mooring by towing the barges back.

After a complete success the motorbike flip is yet another eye-catching addition to Livett’s portfolio of PR stunts on the River Thames, which once again proved to be the perfect location for an innovative and original stunt.

View our PR consultancy service page for more information and be sure to see our portfolio for other examples of our work.

Interested in putting together a PR stunt or product launch on the River Thames? Contact us today and we would be delighted to assist you with any aspect of it.

Tickets for Nitro Circus at The O2 in November 2018 are on sale now.


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