Honiton marine who was blown up in Afghanistan releases autobiography

PUBLISHED: 14:46 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:11 16 April 2018

Andy's qualifying BASE jump from Trellick Tower 330' (110m), London December 1981, earning him World BASE #14. Photo: Andy Guest

Andy's qualifying BASE jump from Trellick Tower 330' (110m), London December 1981, earning him World BASE #14. Photo: Andy Guest

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A former marine living in Honiton has detailed his life in a new book - which outlines his travels in war-torn Afghanistan and fight against piracy across the Indian Ocean.

Andy (left) after he had just been blown up in Afghanistan, 1981. Photo: Ken GuestAndy (left) after he had just been blown up in Afghanistan, 1981. Photo: Ken Guest

Andy Guest, 60, of Brand Close, has released his book, after penning it for seven months.

He said: “The book is about my life in extreme situations, and my thought process of how I tackled high-risk scenarios.

“This includes a Russian ambush in Afghanistan, 1981, when I was blown up and had to run through heavy machine gun fire to safety, to pioneering low-altitude BASE jumping worldwide at the birth of the sport.”

Andy was a Dunkeswell parish councillor from 1998 to 2006, when he resigned that year as vice-chairman, aged 48.

Andy armed aboard a vessel in the Indian Ocean in 2012. Photo: Andy GuestAndy armed aboard a vessel in the Indian Ocean in 2012. Photo: Andy Guest

Two years later, he found himself back in Afghanistan implementing security in American bases and overlooking a team of 375 Afghans.

He was also part of a four-man team of armed guards looking after an American contractor.

After Afghanistan, he travelled all over the Indian Ocean running an armed security team and ensuring pirates could not hijack ships.

He said: “All of these security companies basically hire ex-military serviceman, and that’s how I got myself there.

“There was a time where we were being followed at night from 20 miles away by high-speed skiffs.

“We managed to lose them by taking away their reference – in other words, turning off our navigational lights.

“To this day, I still don’t know if they were pirates. My gut feeling is they were.”

When asked why he took his decision to take so many risks, Andy said: “When I reached the age I am now, I wanted to look back and think ‘I had a full life’.”

Andy, whose varied career also saw him take over as chief instructor of the Royal Navy Royal Marines Sport Parachute Association, holds five world records, two European records and 19 British records – all relating to parachuting.

He also has a haul of medals from national and international competitions, including gold for Great Britain in the Canopy Relative Work World Cup in Florida.

He said: “I am overwhelmed with the response to my book. I am toying with the idea of writing a second.”

Andy’s book, titled ‘Type T’, can be purchased on Amazon.

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