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Jumper Accidents

This section describes incidents which happened because people did jump jump correctly, understand what is going on or were being stupid.

It is a sad fact that sometimes the person being stupid or making mistakes is not the one to be hurt (or even killed) which is why it is a good idea to jump with reputable companies. Make sure you ask questions about things you're not sure about.

Broken Ankle!

This from Colin:

PRR - Practice, Rehearsal and Repetition - mentally prepare yourself for every jump. Before breaking my ankle I had performed many successful jumps previously. In one bungee jump I did from a bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho (Perrine bridge - 500 feet high) I performed PRR. I had performed several bungee jumps before this, but this was my first bungee jump from this height. At this height certain things were required from me that I hadn't done before. For instance since I would be hitting terminal velocity it was important I fell in a "head-down" position. It was also important I tucked on recoil. Because my previous jumps had been performed at lower heights these requirements had not been necessary and as such had not been mentioned by my previous jump masters.

How the hell was I to prepare myself for this jump then? PRR! I mentally performed the steps required of me in my head again and again. I walked around the jump site familiarizing myself with what I would be standing on (the railing) and how I would get myself on that railing. I familiarized myself with the equipment and talked to the people operating it. The more I mentally performed these steps the less fear I seemed to have.

I still had a healthy dose of fear when I stood on that railing, but because of my mental PRR I was in control of it. I performed two perfect jumps from the bridge that day - the second jump being performed backwards! I learned that even if you can't physically practice for an activity you can mentally practice for it. The simplest skills can be the most difficult to perform in difficult situations if you aren't mentally prepared for them.

When I jumped from the Navajo Bridge I assumed I knew what to do since I had performed a perfect jump from the Perrin bridge and a helicopter. In both the Perrin and helicopter instances I had mentally prepared myself for the jump - mental practice and familiarization with procedure and equipment. I thought I didn't need to prepare myself this time since I had the knowledge and experiences from my previous jumps - wrong! I fractured my foot and broke my ankle. Even if this bridge was the same height as the Perrin it was still a different bridge. Even if it was the same bridge PRR is important to practice everytime. I learned that PRR doesn't stop once you learn how to do something - it is an on-going activity that should be performed everytime you do something. The brain forgets - PRR makes sure it doesn't. Don't jump if you aren't mentally ready.

Colin has since gone on to jump many more times, Check out his photos.


This from Emily:

I was watching a television show a couple of weeks ago and saw this accident. It was somewhere in the states. A woman was jumping off of a crane. As she came up on her first bounce, the cord wrapped itself around her neck and she went unconscious. They had to lower her down and revive her. She ended up being ok.

I have seen Photos of this in an article in the Lancet (medical publication). It's a good reminder to keep your arms and body tucked tight (fetal) during rebound.

Be careful, Singer!

This from Macho:

this one, 1st bungee accident in 2000 happened just the afternoon 2nd of April in Chung Pyung, Gyunggi-do, Korea. Lee, A new teenage-singer hurt her face during a 35 meter Bungee Jump for a local TV program. During her 1st jump she rebounded, the bungee cord hit her face, smashing her left cheek. The injuries also included a swollen wrist. Her injuries will take more than 2 weeks to heal completely. Anyway she stopped all her schedule for a while for her medical treatment.

TV Ad tradegy

This from Macho:

A 10 yrs old Indian child died during an attempted monkey Bungee Jump somewhere in India during the middle of July 1997. He wanted to copy a jump, so tied his ankles with his mom's long scarves and jumped off from a 10 story veranda of the flat that his family lived in. He'd seen a new very famous drink ad on local TV in which a guy bungee jumped from a cliff and swipes a drink from a driving truck on the highway. Need more details please contact me; macho@machobat.com

12 Screws - Broken Arm

I heard about this while jumping with the Dangerless Aerial Sports Club and Dave (12 Screws) Rowlinson kindly wrote a version for me (It's not my fault he doesn't spell it bungee). Are we sitting comfortably... good, then he'll begin

It was jump number five. My previous four jumps were all from the same site, and they sort of figured I knew what I was doing. The jump I performed was an Elevator. They strap you tightly into a waist harness, attach the bungy and get you to hold onto it. Failure to hold on generally results in the testicles ending up round your throat region, so I held on. You then stand backwards on the platform and step off.

On jumps one through four I had had some sense of adrenaline rush. Jump number five seemed to have forgotten to tell the adrenaline people to turn up, and just invited fear. Therefore I was holding onto the rope just a little more tightly than I should.

5-4-3-2-1 Jump..... Fear was loving the fall. I was not. I hit the end of freefall and my right arm fell off the rope. 'Oh' I said to myself, 'Better hold back onto the ... better put my arm.. That's strange it's not moving... Something's wrong here'. I hit the bounce at the bottom and sprung back up. At the top of the first rebound my arm came up and slapped me in the face. It also had a funny looking joint somewhere between the shoulder and the elbow that I'm sure I didn't have before. It was at this point that I realised that my arm was broken. Non of the jump masters believed me, and it wasn't until I got one of them to feel the rather large bump in my arm that they did believe me. An ambulance was duly called and I spent three days in hospital recovering from an operation which resulted in me having a six inch metal plate and twelve screws inserted into my arm.

Apparently when the rope had tightened it had whiplashed a bit, and that, added to the fact that I was tense with the fear, caused my arm to snap in two places. I later found out that I had Radial Nerve Palsy. The Radial Nerve is the one that controls the muscles in your fingers and wrist so I lost the use of my right hand for six months. My Occupational Therapist built a marvelous contraption to go on my arm so I could use my hand. I looked like robocop.

I've jumped since and I MIGHT jump again, although I recently wimped out of a 600ft jump in France. Anyway, don't let me put you off. Go bungy jumping 'cos it's Grrrrrrreat(tm).

Of All The People...

From: bOaZ

This one happened just last week here in Israel. The details:

(Saturday, 18/1/97) Ravit Naor, a reporter working for the Israeli daily newspaper "Maariv", went to write an article about a new bungee site in Ein-Vered, operated by Air Bungy Ltd. She boarded the bungee crane and jumped three times, attached from the waist. The first time - to get the idea. The next two - in order to get good pictures. In her third jump she rebounded in such an angle, that the bungee chord hit her face, smashing her nose, jaw and right eye-socket.

Damage list: 1 broken nose, 3 broken teeth, torn lips, 2 deep cuts in the left cheek, broken sinus, smashed right-eye.

Who's fault was it? Well, probably the bungee operators, who operated without the necessary license and legal papers. BTW, the article that was published after the incident didn't do them any good...

The Water's Safe, Right?...

From: Simon Andersson

I heard about some guys in Australia that bungee-jumped into a river (they would come down head-first and dip their heads before being pulled back.) They ended the practice after one guy died hitting a drifting log.

Not sure if this belongs here or in the club accidents