THIS is the heart-stopping moment a daredevil dangled from a 300ft crane above Southampton.

James Kingston scaled the crane wearing nothing more than a jumper, a pair of jeans, black canvas shoes and a camera to film the stunt.

Not content with reaching the top, he then walked out onto the arm of the crane on a metal girder just inches wide.

Astonishingly he then lowered himself down and swung from a metal bar, effectively holding on for his life before then removing one hand leaving just five fingers between him and plunging to the ground and water below.

The jaw dropping footage was filmed at the Admirals Quay construction site in Ocean Village. Once complete the £74m development will boast Southampton's tallest building standing at 26 storeys.

But this week it was the scene of James' latest climb, which he posted on a social networking site with the quote “I didn't go up there to die, I went up there to live”

The short film has already seen more than 100,000 hits.

It is thought James was with two other people who were helping him to film the stunt which was reported to Hampshire police by worried residents who spotted the men climbing the structure.

The footage shows James entering the building site as dawn is breaking on Sunday morning.

He then scales the structure by, at times, squeezing himself through tiny gaps and holes to reach its top, and film the city skyline as he dangles from it.

According to Warings, the construction firm building on site, police officers were there to meet the group when they came down from the crane.

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A spokesman for the firm said: “The tower crane on the Admiral's Quay site has a shield around the mast, which acts as an anti-climb device and is generally very effective. However the individuals involved and were able to bypass this and climb the crane.

“Health and safety is a top priority at Warings, across all our sites and we do not condone the behaviour of these individuals. We have also worked with the crane supplier to improve the anti-climb protection to prevent further attempts.

“The incident was reported to the police, who dealt with the matter accordingly.”

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The dangerous stunt has been condemned by safety bodies who say such acts not only endanger the person's life but also those of other people.

David Walker, leisure safety manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “An appetite for adventure is fine - commendable even - but done in the right context.

“The bottom line is that if things go wrong, it does not only impact on the individual involved but also their family, the emergency services and staff who work at the construction and demolition sites.”

“Businesses have to go to great lengths to ensure security, and the Health and Safety Executive and construction industry have put huge efforts into preventing trespass on building sites.”

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He added that such stunts, particularly when posted on social networking run the risk of being copied by others.

“Children are particularly at risk from trespassing on these sites as several tragic accidents have shown. Part of the risk is not just normalising this kind of behaviour but copycat activities by young people,” added Mr Walker.

Hampshire Police were unable to confirm what had happened to the men after they were spoken to by officers when contacted by the Daily Echo.

Who is he?

James Kingston was not able to speak to the Daily Echo at the time of going to press, but he is thought to be from Southampton where he practices and performs many of his stunts.

Describing himself as an “athlete” he is accomplished at Parkour which is also known as free running.

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Other videos he has posted show him jumping between the roofs of buildings around the city centre.

At times running precariously on the ledges of buildings having scaled drainpipes in a style similar to Spiderman, James films himself again teetering on the edge looking down onto the streets more than 30ft below.

He has also filmed himself with friends scaling a crane in Los Angeles on a recent trip to the United States. Under the cover of darkness members of the group again are filmed dangling over the streets below in a one-handed grip.

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What is Parkour and free running?

Parkour is a movement that was developed out of military obstacle course training and can include running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping and rolling.

It is usually practiced outside in urban environments and like free running is a style of outdoor acrobatics were people run off objects and use the local landscape, usually at speed. The aim is to continue movements without breaking momentum.

Crane climbing is a relatively new trend of so called “urban exploring” where people climb the world's tallest cranes on constructions sites and post pictures and videos of themselves on social network.