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Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston, a combat system’s instructor and amateur escape artist, performed four potentially record-breaking straitjacket escapes.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston, a combat system’s instructor and amateur escape artist, performed four potentially record-breaking straitjacket escapes. (Kari R. Bergman / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston, a combat system’s instructor and amateur escape artist, performed four potentially record-breaking straitjacket escapes.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston, a combat system’s instructor and amateur escape artist, performed four potentially record-breaking straitjacket escapes. (Kari R. Bergman / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston stands triumphantly on the main stage after a performance during Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s Independence Day celebration.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston stands triumphantly on the main stage after a performance during Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s Independence Day celebration. (Kari R. Bergman / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE — Twenty and seventy-two hundredths seconds.

That’s all it took to give Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edmiston a shot at earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

It was 20.72 seconds of muscle manipulation and full-body wriggling — his best time in four attempts Wednesday.

Performing as “Danger Nate” on Wednesday at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Fourth of July celebration, Edmiston freed himself from a regulation, medically designed straitjacket faster than anyone in recorded history.

And he did it in Independence Day style.

Wearing an patriotic top hat and star-spangled running tights, Edmiston withstood an endless drizzle and curious looks to break the record.

“I was soaking wet. The jacket was soaking wet, and I just got lucky,” Edmiston said Thursday, now busy putting together his entry package for Guinness’ consideration. He collected a handful of signed affidavits, video and other documentation required to get his name in the record book.

The current record is 50.08 seconds.

“It will take Guinness six to eight weeks to make a decision,” Edmiston said. “But either way, the guys who saw me escape were amazed.”

Although most in attendance were astonished by Edmiston’s feat, those who know him well knew what the outcome would be.

“A lot of people were skeptical. But if you know Jon, and he says that something is going to happen, it’s going to happen,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Demangone, on hand to keep time with a stopwatch. “Once the whistle blew, I could see that Jon was in control of his destiny.”

Great escapes

Edmiston escaped four times:

1st attempt: 21.86 seconds

2nd attempt: 27.16 seconds

3rd attempt: 32 seconds

4th attempt: 20.72 seconds

Currently, the world record time is 50.08 seconds.


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