Anybody who bungee jumps must be aware that there is a possibility the cord might snap. I suppose the knowledge of this danger adds to the thrill. Every now and then we hear of somebody using a cord that is too long and, well, the results are predictable. Sometimes alcohol is involved. Sometimes it’s just ignorance or stupidity.
But most inhabitants of the civilized world have come to expect that companies that specialize in providing such thrills to their customers use due diligence and follow strict safety procedures. After all, they charge money for their services and their customers’ safety is in their hands.
No doubt Australian tourist Erin Langworthy expected as much from the African company, to whom she paid the equivalent of about $150. Yet all good things must end – and this holds true for bungee cords just like anything else. Unfortunately for her, the bungee cord reached the end of its warranty after she jumped and it snapped. Fortunately for her, she survived.
I am not an expert on bungee cords, or on bungee jumping, but I do know that when the stakes are high, one does not simply continue to use the same equipment over and over again until it fails. I do know that common sense, and decency, require careful inspection of equipment on a regular basis in such situations.
Here is some of her account of what happened:
“I actually brought my arms up over my face, to protect myself when I hit the water. I sort of remember it all, it was quite cold so it snapped me out of it,” Langworthy said on “Good Morning America.”
With her legs fastened together, Langworthy struggled to bring herself to safety while swimming amidst crocodiles.
“I tried to stay afloat, and your legs are quite heavy cause of the line. I was hearing the rapids. Luckily we had been rafting, so I remembered some of the safety tips,” she said.
Langworthy reportedly was pulled downstream and entangled by the bungee cord before she eventually swam to the Zimbabwe bank of the river where she was rescued.
“When I was first brought out of the water, they put me on my back and so all the water I had inhaled meant that I couldn’t breathe,” she told Australia’s Channel 9 News. So I made them roll me on to my side and that’s when I started coughing up water and blood.”
It is a fact that cords do sometimes snap. As a venerable sage once said, “shit happens”. But how can the rescue crew, which works by the river on a regular basis, not know how to save somebody from drowning? Either those Africans were too busy feasting their eyes on her white bosom or they were too ignorant to know how to get water out of her lungs.
If they ever do figure out how to use condoms in Africa, water safety and rescue might be next on the list of things for them to learn.