Look out into the Pacific from Malibu or Santa Monica on a clear day, and you’ll make out a faint splotch of deep blue on the horizon. That splotch is the island of Catalina. Located 26.2 miles from Newport Beach, Catalina gracefully tempts SoCal locals, most of whom are too preoccupied with their daily Hollywood dreams to ever make it out to the island.
Not Dean O’Malley.
On September 29, O’Malley, the president of Jetlev Southwest, arrived at Catalina in dramatic and historic fashion on one of his company’s own awe-inspiring flying contraptions. Maybe you’ve seen the Jetlev before. Considered a true “jetpack,” the Jetlev inhales sea water via a gas-powered engine and 33-foot hose and then shoots it out in a violent torrent that pushes its rider into the sky and across the sea. During O’Malley’s record-breaking, four-and-a-half hour journey, the machine consumed 45 gallons of gas and propelled him father than anyone had ever ridden a Jetlev or any other type of jetpack farther. He arrived across the high seas with his neck hurting and shoulders giving out, but his spirits high.
O’Malley had made it into the record books and gotten his company’s leisurely extreme product a bona fide jetstream of well-deserved press.