This recent video emerged of a girl jumping off a bridge in South Africa, near the Angel Falls, when her bungee line snapped. She was catapulted into the crocodile infested river below, with her legs still bound together and with the line catching on rocks making it difficult for her to escape the rapids downstream. Luckily she made her escape with heavy bruising and a fractured collar bone, but could have been fatal.
Below is the news video of the bungee jump that nearly ended in death…
The company who run the bungee jump, Shearwater Victoria Falls, is a company associated with the Victoria Falls national park. Some people would consider a company like this to offer better saftey than other companies around. However more and more bungee jumps are reporting saftey incidents like this one, as equiptment starts to wear out without being replaced or updated, while more people are adopting this dare devil activity. In addition to this a lack of global standards on bungee jumping means that in many countries standards fall short of many of the standards created by western countires, most of which now have a Bungee jumping organisation, which regulates saftey standards.
Although in general a bungee jump is considered safe it is always worth bearing in mind that there are risks associated with any kind of adventure sport. If you are planning on embarking on a bungee jump, be very cautious in choosing the company and the location of your jump to avoid a disaster like this one. Although western jumps tend to be better regulated and have higher saftey standards, this is not always the case. You should check your travel insurance to make sure you are covered for such an activity. Ask the organisers how old their equiptment is and how many people take the jump every day. As usual common sense prevails and if the operations look disorganised and the organiser is unable to answer questions like;
“Have you had any previous accidents”
“What measures are in place to ensure the bungee jump is safe”
“When was the equiptment last serviced”
If the organiser cannot answer any of the above then start to worry. Make sure you check what is generally a braided shock cord. Are there signs of wear? How is it attached to the tower or object your are jumping from? Don’t go into this without knowing what you are in for…. It is better to be safe than sorry, as most of the stories on the Bungee Zone website will tell you.
The first bungee jump was built over Bristol’s 245-foot (75 m) Clifton Suspension in 1979. However commercially Bungee jumping was made popular in New Zealand as they rapidly built their tourism and adventure sports industry. Bungee jumping is now massively popular all over the world and it can be found in many countries looking to cash in on the massive wave of backpackers and tourists to more remote areas and developing countries. You can now bungee out of a helicopter, while the jumps over land are getting higher and higher as companies attempt to out do each other.
So if you are satisfied and cannot hold back but make a bungee jump, which are the most crazy, the highest bungee jumps in the world?
1. Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado, USA – 1,053 feet (321 m)
2. Macau Tower, China – 760 feet (233 m)
3. Verzasca Dam, Switzerland – 720 feet (220 m)
4. Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 708 feet (216 m)
5. Europabrücke Bridge, Austria – 630 feet (192 m)
For more information on where to head to do a bungee jump here are a few links to get you started:
China’s Macau Tower
or try another in Shanghai…