Bungee Club Accidents
This is the saddest part of the disasters section. Sometimes
accidents are just that, accidents - sadly the victim doesn't always
have control over the situation and is trusting whoever they are
jumping with - bear this in mind when choosing a club or even when you
are at a site.
Jul 12 1997
Reston VA fastfood worker Eric Barcia assembles a bungee cord
reaching nearly 70 feet in length and jumps from a 70 foot railroad
trestle. Barcia did not take into account the fact that a bungee
stretches on use, therefore his head impacted the pavement at the full
force of gravity. (Source: Washington Post)
Fatal Bungee Accident in Italy (english version) link sent in by Roberto:
May 2002: Two people died jumping from the Polino bridge in
Italy. the cord was retieved in complete condition leading
investigator to beleive that the way the cord was attached to the
bridge had somehow failed.
Around March 1990 I did a jump with "Bungee Down Under" in Surfers
Paradise Australia. They seemed a professional outfit and for all I know
they are still there today. I was weighed twice and the the Bungee was
checked several times. The jump took place over about four foot of
water. As I fell I slowed down but not enough to prevent me from hitting
the sand at the bottom. Result - no serious injury as I had almost
halted although I badly sprained a finger. I was too elated at having
jumped to dwell on it although later I was quite angry. At the time the
crew blamed it on the fact that instead of jumping out properly I had
keeled over the edge of the platform and dropped like a stone - although
surely lots of first time jumpers do this? Still at least I am still
here to tell the tale!
From Mike Edward:
I am writing to you to tell you of an accident which I
was made aware off while traveling in New Zealand earlier this year
(2001). I have done several bungy jumps at different locations and
was going to do one while in NZ but after finding out about this
accident and checking into the bungy location I was very much
disturbed by what I found. I have done many of the outdoor
adventurous activities in NZ and have enjoyed them completely without
a great amount of worry for my safety. Well here is what I found when
I was in Taupo at Lake Taupo on the North Island of NZ. I was at a
local backbackers place in town and was asking about doing the bungy
at the "Taupo
Bungy" and after a while someone told me of an accident that they
had had in the late summer of 2000. It seems that a woman was jumping
and on her 1st or 2nd rebound she came completely out of the harness
attached to her ankles. She then freefell from approx. 25 meters and
hit the water very hard. She was very bruised up and spent a few days
in the hospital but was okay afterwards. I was told it had been
reported in the local newspapaer so I called and they verified that
this accident had happened but only gave me limited details. So I
decided to go down to the location and have a look for myself on how
they do the bungy jumping.
I first went into the office and asked all the regular questions and then
since I know how to ask questions to get specific information that people
don't always give out I asked the clerk behind the counter if they had ever
had any accidents or injuries. I was told that they had a 100% safety
record with no accidents. I said that that was hard to believe that people
are always hurt in some way or other when doing different physical
activities and then the clerk did say that "Oh Yes" from time to time
someone does get a bloody nose or a skinned hand trying to grab the bungy
cord. I then went outside to the jump location; the platform as they call
it, and just watched for awhile. I had found out that this accident had
happened due to the woman coming out of the "ankle Cuffs" as they are
called. So I wondered if they had done something different now to prevent
this from happening. What I saw was to say the least shocking. They still
were only using the "ankle cuffs" to attach the jumper to the bungy cord and
no other form of additional attachment in case that another jumper was to
come out of the "ankle cuffs".
I then waited for the right moment between the staff having jumpers and I
asked them some questions about their procedures and their safety record.
They first said that they had never had and accident and that it wasn't
possible for the jumper to come out of the "ankle cuffs". I asked why and
they just said that it couldn't happen and that they always check everything
before the jumper does their jump. I kept asking different questions and
finally one of the crew did admitt that it was possible to come out of the
"ankle cuffs" but that they were always careful. I asked if that was even
possible why didn't they use some form of other attachment in addition to
provide more safety to their operation and they said that it was necessary
and was too much trouble to deal with. I then told them that I had found
out about the accident the year before and they were shocked that I knew
about it. I said it was a matter of public record and one of them said they
couldn't comment on that and the other one later admitted that it had
To say the least I was very put off by everything that I was told and saw
and decided that I would not jump at this establishment. I felt and still
feel that the owners and the staff are not living up to their stated claim
of being completely safety consciencous. I left this place with a bad
feeling and just hope that anyone who goes there to jump doesn't have a bad
experience due to safety. I later found out about your web site and checked
into it and that's why I am writing this to you. I firmly believe that all
businesses should be made to account for their actions and as bungy jumping
is still rather new to the world maybe we as the public need to make sure
that things like this accident are at least reported so that we can make an
informed decision when thinking about bungy jumping or anything else.
If you wish to check this out further you can check with the local newspaper
in Taupo, NZ and also I believe that whe was taken to a hospital in a town
nearby called Rotaroua; not sure of the spelling. I hope you decide to
include this in your web site as I feel it is important that the facts be
The source for this story wishes to remain anonymous while they
persue legal action.
I was at a family fun center type of place. It was my husband's
birthday, and I wanted to do something exciting for the occasion. I
was a little afraid at first, so I asked the lady selling the jumps if
anyone had ever been hurt on it before, and if she felt it was safe or
not. She reassured me it was very safe and that their was nothing to
worry about. The two people working the tower were very young, and one
even admitted to be only 18 or 19. Anyway, I made one jump
successfully, and liked the rush I got, so I went for a second
jump. As I was falling, I had a bad feeling. I bounced out until I was
hanging, and I waited for them to lower me to the rope
platform. People said they heard a snap, and I free fell to the rope
net thing. I landed on my back and bounced about 10 feet, and landed
on my back and neck. One wittness at the top of the tower claims the
girl pushed the release lever, and I didn't move. As I started to
fall, she pushed it back up. I don't know what really happened, but I
was badly injured, and my family called emergency. I am suing the
facility and the company who built the tower.
More Macho Reports...
From our roving reporter Macho:
16, Aug 2001 in South Korea, a male pay-jumper was seriously injured
when he smashed to the water by the cord teared off during a 25 m
bungee jump in Ganglung city, Gangwon-do.
4 pm, 13, Oct, 2001 also in South Korea, a high school girl(15)
jumped from 40 m bungee tower without cord attached on her body at
Daesungli, Gapyunggun, Gyunggi-do. Fortunetely she falled down on the
air mattress so got serious bruises on her body. But she was
hospitalized for a while 'coz had serious symptoms of unrest and
shock. She testfied "on the jump platform, jump crews were nervous and
didn't connected a bungee cord to me. And just let me jump from
there!" Also the owner acknoledged they had made mistakes; "We didn't
do safely and committed a serious fault".
Macho Comments: actually they used uninspected cords and
gear. and jump crews did not basic trained for safety operations and
Oct, 1999 in Shanghai, China. A Taiwanese pay jumper bungee jumped
from a 40 m tower in the park, but he died when he smashed to the hard
soil by broken connecting cababiner.
16, Apr, 2000 Tianjin, China. A woman and man were seriously
injured when they crashed to the air mattress during a tandem bungee
jump from 33 m tower platform. Now days, there are 20+ bungee
facilities run around the Main China since the 1997, but still many of
them don't care about the 'Safety'.
Double the fun means double the cord...
Tuesday June 5 7:50 AM ET 2001
One Dead, One Injured in Bungee Jump
PARIS (Reuters) - A 22-year-old woman died and her male companion
was seriously injured when they crashed to the ground during a bungee
jump from a viaduct in central France, local authorities said
Police said they had detained the organizer of the bungee jump
after Sunday's accident.
``The jump organizer thinks the accident was generated by an error
on his part that consisted of choosing elastic that did not fit the
weight of two people jumping together,'' a police spokesman told
France's LCI television.
Hitting the Platform!?
As Scotty once said to Capt Kirk - "You cannie change the laws of
physics", however this next story from Sharon seems to indicate
This may confirm an previously reported story regarding a crane
collision. It may have been me they were talking about.
Date was June 1986 and some Bungee jumping was organised by ODSC for a
Charity SWOG (Swim and Jog) event in the Boat House car park off
Donnington Bridge. I was a student at Oxford Poly at the time and
volunteered to jump..apparently the only girl that afternoon so I was
led to believe.
I wore a body harness, with the elastic rope extending from my middle
(stomach region) and jumped backwards (facing the platfrom and
jumpmaster). I jumped and on the rebound found myself turned in the air
and upside down (going back up towards the platform feet first). This
was slightly disorientating but in retrospect it turned out to be
extremly fortunate since I hit the underside of the platform on the
nearside to the crane and almost went up between the two.
It was all photgraphed by either the Oxford Journal or Star, but despite
efforts on my part to get copies I haven't yet succeeded. Anyway, I
damaged a knee from the prang, (torn ligament and bruising...), but it
was well worth it, although the falling experience petrified me (and I
pulled out of a pre-arranged parchute jump as a result ~ complete
"whuss" I know).
Needless to say, it is was a rare joy to experience such a phenomenal
adrenaline buzz and now as I stumble through my thirties, with creaking
joints and screaming at the mere sight of a spider ... I'm glad I did
I have heard of issues of people hitting the platform but that was
usually due to the fact that they were sandbagging, that's where you
jump with a heavy object and at the bottom of your fall you drop it ,
so the potential elastic energy you have at the bottom of your fall is
greater than if you just jumped normally - when you think about it -
like in a physics class - it should be almost impossible to get back
upto the height you jumped from when you consder how inefficient the
system is, the only thing I can imagine is that the place you jumped
from was considerably higher than the bottom of the platform.
After even more thought and looking at this page - if you look at
the Guam Accident it could happen that when Sharon
was at the bottom of her fall, a problem with the cabling in the crane
could case the cage to drop - thus making it possible for her to hit
it on her way back up...
ZURICH (Reuters) - A Swiss outdoor adventure company has halted
operations after an American died in a bungee jumpingouting it
organized over the weekend the second fatal accident linked to the
company in less than a year.
Adventure World owner Georg Hoedle said the company had suspended all
activity while police probed why the 22-year-old American hit the
ground at full speed Saturday when jumping from a cable car near the
Schilthorn peak in central Switzerland.
"We don't know much. The authorities are still investigating the
circumstances," Hoedle told the Sonntags Zeitung Sunday newspaper.
He declined to comment on speculation the jumper might have been using
an elastic rope that was too long for the 100-meter (yard) plunge from
a cable car suspended over a parking lot.
He acknowledged the cable car was carrying two ropes one for the
100-meter jump and other for an 180-meter jump. But he said they were
different colors and clearly marked to prevent mixing them up.
Adventure World also organized a disastrous whitewater canyoning
expedition last July in which 21 people drowned. A flash flood
surprised the victims as they made their way down a narrow gorge near
Interlaken in the Bernese Alps.
Prosecutors are still weighing whether to charge company officials
with criminal negligence for the deaths.
Hoedle said he could not explain why the company had been linked to
two such tragedies in such a short time.
"We went over our safety guidelines painstakingly after the
Saxetenbach (canyoning) accident. Every staff member is safety
conscious right down to his fingertips. And now this. I cannot
imagine it. It is crazy."
Brrrrrr it's chilly
This from Macho:
8 Jan 1999. Probably 1st bungee accident on 1999.
cold evening in Pusan city, Korea. A 16 yr-old girl jumped off T-tower
platform(15 m high), looks liked fine but a support wire iced so could
not work when let her down by machine. So she was hanging in the
air(10 m high from ground) about 4 hour until fire rescue team came up
and let her down on the airmatt.
Investigation: ignored basic regulation even cold weather
condition. Tower system (couples in Korea) from States but operators
has no any training for safety or rescue situation. Finally the local
owner(operator) said "Frankly I didin't know much about
bungee, I just wanna make money.. that's all from TV news.
This from Macho:
In Pusan city. On 26th Jan 1999. At the same bungee site that had
an accident involving a girl hanging in the air 10m before.
Yesterday afternoon around 3 PM. A 15 yrs old pay jumper jumped
from a 65ft. tower platform, but the cord teared off and his body
smashed into the air mat below. Fortunetely the teenage jumper
survived with a minor injury... but needs to rest in hospital for a
Investigation: used very old elastic cord(looks like a pony tail)
which was never replaced for 7 monthes. Operator ignored basic
regulations and cord replacement policy. Owner also do not know bungee
even less about bungee industry & elastic cord characteristics. Local
council can do nothing because of no guideline from the government.
This from Macho:
August 1990. Sydney's 1st Bungie jump operation opened at
Birkenhead Point and lasted less than a month before the Minister for
Industrial Relations, Mr. Fahey, banned the sport in NSW. He ordered
the ban after a former Miss Australia, Miss Natalie Curry, broke her
collarbone when she hit the bottom of the harbour during a promotional
jump. She is a permanent handicapped now. Bungie jump is a highly
dangerious pastime and not one I would personally encourage, Mr. Fahey
told. If anyone wants to indulge in a terminal pastime, they would be
better off going into politics. Bungie operation no longer banned in
NSW(Sydney) until 1997.
Investigation: master didn't calculated a jumper's weight and
elastic cord length, also depth of the bottom. Anyway I have met
ex-master was working as butcher at a local butcher shop in Sydney
This from Macho:
14th. May 1996. 2 fatal accidents same day in Korea
11am. Kunkook-Chungju Univ.(approx. 4 hrs from Seoul) campus festival,
35 m crane, airmatt(3m*3m), ankle strip mistied, 35 yrs old
unexperienced (no-brain?) operator died to impact smashed his head on
asphalt ground during his demo.
5pm. Yongin Univ(approx. 1 hr from Seoul) festival, 35 m crane,
airmatt(3m*3m), elastic cord disconnected with a platform & crane, 24
yrs old innocent student(pay jumper) died to impact that falled down on
Investigation: operated by never experienced club, no
knowledge/technic of jump operation, just monkey business.
Tight Tight Tight!
This from Macho:
1 June 1997. Sunway Lagoon Resort(near Kuala Lumpur),
Malaysia. During festival, an pacipitant(Indian teenage boy), ankle
strip too loosed to his ankle by master so falled down into the water
pool after jumped off from 30 m crane platform, but fortunetely the
jumper had a shock and minor injuired. And Bungee activities banned by
Malay government soon. Operated by 'Bungee Downunder(Gold Coast, QLD,
Investigation: a jumper's ankle strip too loosed, not fully trained
Assie crews and no 2 secured system(never used body harness system).
That company had a same accident in QLD 1995.
It's easy to see how this one happened, especially at a busy
site. A similar scenario happened when I was working for Northwest
Bungee, but our Jumpmaster was doing things right!
A rather nervous jumper was roped up and waiting to jump off the
crane. The jumpmaster did the traditional count down and on 1 the
jumper leaned forward to do the jump. After looking at the trouser
filling drop below he decided it might not be such a cool idea
after all. He spun round and grabbed the jumpmaster in an attempt to
stop his jump. Sadly the jumpmaster was not attached to the crane (he
should of course ALWAYS be attached to the crane before it
leaves the ground) He was pulled out along with the jumper who was
still attached to the bungee. The Jumper didn't die the Jumpmaster
I heard this off a girl at a party. She said it happened at a site
in Greece - how's that for a good reliable source.
Extra Info from: Jos Martin
I will check the jumping jumpmaster story, which is true. However I
think the latest case occurred in Japan, though there may be older
versions of this one. I will ask Ding (Ding Boston from BERSA) since he first told me the story.
Extra Info from: Collins
jumping jumpmaster is not entirely correct. jumpmaster
fell out of cage showing the customer what was going to happen when
they reached the top again .he (jumpmaster) was about 15m up & went to
the front of the cage to demonstrate how to exit the cage correctly
&leaned over the edge &fell to his death on the rocks below.this was
an error on behalf of the ground crew who did not do there vital
cheeks before letting the cage leave the ground.After that incident
the jumpmaster was required to have 2 life lines one at the front of
him &one at the back.The one at the front was for ground crew to see
was attached to the cage &the back one was for the jumpmasters own
Allegedly this happened at a site near London. I heard about it
while working for a club.
There are strict guide lines when operating a crane site. There are
certain angles the crane jib should be at and also heights that the
cage should be below the crane. Also there's restrictions on how windy
it can be before it is unsafe to jump. Some of these factor were wrong
when a jumper was on the rebound after her first drop and she hit the
jib of the crane. She didn't die, just cracked her head open. ( I guess
hanging upside down isn't the best way to be when you have a hole in
This happened years and years ago when bungee was still quite a new
sport. It's quite a well documented story, but I can't seem to find
any so I am recalling it from memory.
It was on Noel Edmonds British TV show (with Mike Smith) They used
to arrange dangerous stunts for people from the audience to
participate in. One volunteer was chosen to do a bungee. I have heard
two versions of this story and would like to know which is true. Sadly
they both have the same gruesome outcome. Version 1 is that the rope
was not attached and the guy plummeted to meet the reaper. The second
is that there was a fault with the way the crane was attached to the
cage and this failed. I image there would be a higher death rate for
the second story.
Extra Info from: Jos Martin
Though strictly a bungee disaster, there were no jumpmasters of any sort
on the site. The BBC decided that they knew better than everyone and got
their stunt co-ordinator on the case. The failure was actually a
Carabina which wasn't backed up. Again Ding will have far more
information on this one.
Even more Extra Info from: Joss Gower
Mike Lush the Bungee jumper had no prior exp. in Bungee
jumping, also the BBC never called in a Stunt Co-ordinator, they in fact
called in an escapologist to rig the jump!! Mike Lush was also to clip
himself on (and forgot) and just to top it all off there was no
Heard from someone (I don't remember who)
A Policeman jumping for charity from a bridge died when the crew
forgot to attach one end to the bridge.
Lucky it wasn't the fat bloke!
I actually saw this one happen, but before you get excited about
squished people the only casualty in this story was a sandbag!
It happened when I was working for Northwest Bungee, we had a great
site for the day set up over a lake in deepest Southport (UK). Things
were going well and we were even getting a few free jumps here and
there. Then the son of the guy who owned the lake wanted to jump. This
guy was way too fat for our biggest cord and so our jumpmaster said
that we had to put our two thinnest ropes together. So we lashed them
together using spare cord strands and it was looking rather nice and
as though it would work. Obviously we wanted to test it first (like we
did for all the ropes) and so we started to fill our sandbag with
enough sand to be slightly heavier than this guy. The sand just fitted
in and up went the crane for the first test drop. It was quite a sight
to see our jump master and another guy heaving this sack off the
crane. You've probably guessed by now, but it didn't quite go
according to plan. The attachments on the sandbag couldn't take the
wait and the Handles snapped. The bungee shot back up to the crane
very fast and there was an almighty splash as the bag hit the
Quite funny on reflection, but it kind of put the crowd off. The
fat guy didn't want to jump after that which is quite good, 'cos none
of us wanted to try to catch him at the end.
Lights, Camera, Action!
From: Ulf Karlsson
- along a similar line to the previous story
I have a to say that we been spared when it comes
to accidents, but one time we did a thing for a
company and the thing was that we should jump with
a girl from one crane and a camera crew should film
the jump from another crane.
Everything went well, but when we started to get things
together one of the cameramen asked if we could jump
with the camera and try to get the ground rush on film.
The problem was that the camera was very heavy and if
the jumper flipped up on the rebounce he could hurt
himself on it, then everybody stopped thinking,
the cameramen said what if we strap the camera to the
Bungee cord and then drop it from the crane ?????.
We went for some slings and strapped it around the
camera then we taped a thick jacket around everything
to protect the camera housing and the lenser.
We went up in the crane still not thinking and turned
the camera on and dropped it out of the platform......
what we didn't think of was that we only had one cord
with us and it was to thick for the camera, so when
the cord stretched out the handle of the camera broke
and the camera CRASHED into the ground and the owner
of the camera fell to his knees holding his head and
just screamed NOOOOOOO !!!!.
So that's how fast you can spend 650.000 Swedish Krona in 3
seconds ( $82,000 )
The Over extended Cage
From: Jos Martin
Jumpmaster et al go up in the cage to
the top ... except that the crane driver forgets to stop winching when
they got to the top and the cage goes over the top, tumbles down the
crane jib and lands fairly and squarely on the crane drivers cab ..
death toll - 4, 3 in cage and driver.
Squishy neck story
From: Jos Martin
This is a catapulting story from not sure though I saw
it on a German News program from about 92-93 or so. Lightweight woman
is about to be catapulted. The rope gets extended and the jumpmaster
gives the signal. Woman is released and guess what? She flys up into
the bottom of the cage so hard that she breaks her neck .. not a happy
Caught on Video
Many people who bungee jump do it as a one off on a special
occasion, so it is likely that if an accident did happen then it would
be recorded in some form (either photos or video). There is a video
available (called 'Faces of Death')
which shows various clips of people dying (either by execution or
accident). Pretty sick if you ask me, but hey I jump off bridges
:-). Anyway I heard that a bungee accident was the first clip on the
Part of me thinks it is good that most accidents are captured on
video so that the event can be analysed to see what went wrong and to
try and stop it again. Also it is a testimony to the safety (or
lawyers) of the majority of clubs that there aren't many bungee
jumping accident videos in the news.
Extra Info From: Justin Friedman
In response to the Caught on Video entry. I actually saw this
episode of Faces of Death. There were, I think 4 people at the top of
a building (two guys and two girls). They decided to celebrate
something, I think that it was graduation. They constructed the
bungee cord secured it to both the building and the guy. They wanted
to make the cord long enough so they could touch the ground. They
figured that each floor was about 10 feet and they got off at the top
floor which, was something like 17 or so. The guy jumped and hit the
ground. They forgot that the building doesn't have a 13th floor and
thus the cord was about 10 feet too long.
As in many stupid accidents, alcohol was a big factor in the screw
Extra Info From: Jos Martin
There are several other death stories that I have seen
on video where it looks like equipment was the cause though it is hard
to tell whether it was because a person didn't do the rigging
Non-fatal accidents at the '94 Extreme Games
From: Jos Martin
Also there were some non-fatal accidents at the
inaugural extreme games in Rhode Island 1994. The most worrying was
when everyones weight was in pounds and the Americans are wont to
do. Someone read a weight of 155 pounds as 115 and put the jumper on
the wrong rope. He jumped and landed up to his waist in very shitty
water .. fortunately we weren't jumping over solid ground.
I'm not sure whether you've heard about the accident at
A.J. Hackett's site in New Zealand recently (some time between
Christmas and New year 1996). A jumper from Cheshire got very badly
injured when the rope came disattached during the second bounce. The
guy got dunked in the river and escaped with a punctured lung and a
few cracked limbs.
According to Ding Boston, who's spoken to the jumper, the carabina
at the top of the rope was not done up and became dis-attatched
mid-jump. I expect there will be a fair bit of mud-slinging riding on
the back of this one....
Just recently in the 7am news bulletin was the second
disaster from A.J. Hackett's Skippers bridge in Queenstown within a
month. A 20 year old Canadian girl got badly injured as the rope
became disattached at the second rebounce, like the accident in the
end of 1996. It was said that the girl suffered major back and neck
injuries but did survive the ropeless jump.
Days later both Hackett's bridges were opened again, with better
attachments between rope and jumper, they say.
From: Christiano Gontijo
NEW ORLEANS, Jan 26 (Reuter) - The Super Bowl XXXI
halftime show on Sunday will include a tribute to the performer who
was killed while rehearsing a bungee-jumping stunt at the Louisiana
Superdome, the NFL said.
Laura Patterson, 43, a former circus performer, suffered fatal head
injuries Thursday night while rehearsing as a member of a 16-person
bungee-jumping team that was to be featured in the finale of the
The bungee-jumping portion of the show was canceled by NFL
commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Instead, Patterson's picture and name
will appear on the Superdome scoreboard at the conclusion of the
halftime show, the league announced Sunday.
The entire cast and crew for the halftime show will wear white
ribbons over their hearts during the performance in memory of
New Orleans police said the accident appeared to have been caused
when volunteers assisting with the rigging let out too much slack or
otherwise mishandled the ropes, the New Orleans Times Picayune
newspaper reported Sunday.
Patterson, who had successfully performed the stunt in an earlier
rehearsal Thursday, smashed head first onto the field at about the
50-yard line. The medical examiner said she died instantly.
New Site Tragedy
Taken from Cross Adventures
No details as for exact cause of death, though:
Cross Adventure Online is dedicated to my dear friend
Gary Neideffer who died from a tragic bungy accident in Cancun, Mexico
on March 2nd 1996. The accident happened during a test jump on a new
bungy system. When testing new structures and systems there is always
a greater degree of risk. Gary understood this and would always put
his life on the line ahead of others. That was to be his last
Gary had over 1000 jumps and 7 years bungy experience, was well known
and respected in the industry and has been estimated to have jumped more
people than anyone else in the US. Amongst companies he worked for were
Primal Instinct, Squaw Valley; Bungy Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe,
California; Baja Bungy, Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico; and then the last
place he worked at Cancun Bungee, Cancun, Mexico.
From: Cary A. Powers
This is about a death that occurred in Porta Rico. The
cord broke on the first rebound, the backup line was reported to be 6
feet too long and the participant hit the ground and died.
From: a source who prefers to remain nameless
The accident occurred in a site on Guam where the crane
was allegedly not well maintained. After a successful jump, the cable
snapped, sending the basket and jump master plunging into the river
below. The jumper was already down and escaped
uninjured. Unfortunately the jump master was strapped in and knocked
out by the fall. All of the people at the site tried to jump in and
free him but the water was too deep and he drowned. The site was shut
down and I believe that OSHA was investigating the cause of the
More Info from Jeremy Davis
I don't know if it's of any worth to you, but I worked at the
Bungee Jump Int'l site in Guam for about two years... As to the
maintenance of the tower crane, I have to put my two cents worth --
the crane wasn't maintenanced AT ALL, due to a contractual dispute
between Denmark based Bungee Jump Int'l and the crane company, who set
up the crane. The crane was an old, aging Italian tower crane. The
structure was rusting away, the cable was subject to dynamic load
after dynamic load, due to the cable not wrapping properly on it's
spool -- and free falling 2-3 ft on the way up. I rode up that basket
many, many times, and the basket would drop, shaking the whole
structure and scaring the shit out of me time after time... This,
coupled with ZERO maintenance, is what caused the cable to fail. The
head guys there, and in Denmark, knew of the problem but ignored it.
The guy that died, a Kiwi, was brand new to the site. I remember one
day I got fed up with the cage dropping and refused to go back up --
the Kiwi, who was new, took my place after I backed off. After I left
Guam, he died in the plunge, and I was not surprised. jI remember
warning him, but of course I wish I had done more to discourage him
away from that site. He was a really nice quiet guy.
I was hoping that you could warn people somewhere on
your site about the dangers of dynamic load on cables,
also stress the proper maintenance of platforms...
Balloon Basket Blunder
This story was heard on the radio. I would guess this
incident to have taken place in 1995. Three men decided to go bungee
jumping over the skies of Illinois. The three men took a hot air
balloon up to jump. On the first and only jump, the basket tore
completely off the balloon!! All three fell to their deaths. I
believe that they were dead before impact!!
This incident happened in San Juan, Puerto Rico about two
weeks ago (I got her email Apr 8 1997). A 17-year old kid was
killed when the bungee rope broke. Apparently when he jumped, the
elastic part of the cord broke and the inner rope was too long to
prevent him from hitting the ground. The bungee owner and operator
argued that the rope was good for 1000 jumps and they were still on
the 700 something jump. The rope was rated for up to 250 lbs, the
"kid" weighed 210 lbs. The accident is being investigated and
everybody is being sued. Even if their record keeping was good, one
wonders how accurate the tests made on these ropes really are.
From: Mike Hon
They had a their crane site set up in Puerta Rico. They were using
cords that had exceeded the maximum alloted hours of UV exposure along
with the method of storage (hanging the cords on the basket 60 feet in
the air in the 90 degree weather all day). Well it was only a matter
of time before they gave out and sure enough they killed some kid and
since it was in Puerta Rico nobody in the states heard anything about
it. The worst part about the whole thing is they are still operating
at state fairs and claiming the whole thing never happened. I hope
that someone else can verify this story and the truth can be told.
From: Dylan Griffiths
Every year we have a sort of exhibition or carnival sort of thing
called the Rand Easter Show which includes rides and shops and
exhibitions of fancy gadgets and other big rich things like boats and
motor bikes that people come and drool over. Anyway its big and
thousands come every year. But heh what's a show without bungee
This particular jump wasn't very high (compared to other jumps) and
was from a crane. The drop was onto tarmac ,thats right no cushioning
,no water, tarmac. Two siblings from the age of 10 to 16 wanted to
jump and also wanted to go together on the same jump but together they
were too heavy. As they jumped the cord stretched too far and they
both hit the tarmac. Unfortunately they didn't die because they both
have to live the rest of their lives on a life support machine because
they are both so brain damaged that they are practically flesh lying
on a hospital bed.
I might be wrong about something, It could be that one of them died
and the other one is brain damaged I'm not sure ,but still I think the
co-ordinators of the jump should have woken up to the fact that they
were both too heavy.
From: Janice Hemi-Williams
The first person to ever die from a bungy jump was in New Zealand
on February 10th, 1990. He was Thomas Wayne Hemi, and only 19 years
of age. The "Jump Master" was all of 21, but had held over 2000
Thomas died as a result of not being hooked up properly, the jump
master had been smoking cannabis at the top with his assistance,
Thomas and a friend had flipped a coin to see who would jump
first. Thomas won.
The jump master did not attach the correct cord to him and hooked
it over a nail. Thomas fell to his death.
Tommy did not die instantly but survived for 20 minutes after the
jump, just long enough for his family, to say goodbye to him before he
More from: John Hackett
(not related to AJ Hackett)
As for a disaster, we had the only fatality in NZ
about 8 years ago at a fun park. It wasn't
linked to AJ Hackett in any way. In that instance the jump master had
had too much of the wacky backy and simply forgot to securely tie on
the end of the cord to the jumper's feet. Result: death, and the jump
master up on a manslaughter charge.
Check those cords!
From: Kristian Voigt
A little story from Denmark - well the accident occured in Norway, Oslo
I believe. It was on the danish television a couple of years ago. The
jumper went off and we saw the the cord wasn't attached to the crane.
Luckily for the jumper he was jumping into the habour and survied.
More cord confusion!
ZURICH (Reuters: Monday, May 15, 2000) - A Swiss outdoor adventure
company has halted operations after an American died in a bungee jumping
outing it organized over the weekend -- the second fatal accident linked
to the company in less than a year. Adventure World owner Georg Hoedle
said the company had suspended all ctivity while police probed why the
22-year-old American hit the ground at full speed Saturday when jumping
from a cable car near the Schilthorn peak in central Switzerland. "We
don't know much. The authorities are still investigating the
circumstances," Hoedle told the Sonntags Zeitung Sunday newspaper.
He declined to comment on speculation the jumper might have been using
an elastic rope that was too long for the 100-meter (yard) plunge from a
cable car suspended over a parking lot. He acknowledged the cable car
was carrying two ropes -- one for the 100-meter jump and other for an
180-meter jump. But he said they were different colors and clearly
marked to prevent mixing them up.
Adventure World also organized a disastrous whitewater canyoning
expedition last July in which 21 people drowned. A flash flood surprised
the victims as they made their way down a narrow gorge near Interlaken
in the Bernese Alps. Prosecutors are still weighing whether to charge
company officials with criminal negligence for the deaths.
Hoedle said he could not explain why the company had been linked to two
such tragedies in such a short time.
"We went over our safety guidelines painstakingly after the Saxetenbach
(canyoning) accident. Every staff member is safety conscious right down
to his fingertips. And now this. I cannot imagine it. It is crazy."
Comments: always safety first & check triple times.
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