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January 9th, 2012
Woman Lives After Bungee Cord Breaks


An Australian woman escaped with just cuts and bruises after her bungy cord snapped during a New Year's Eve jump in Africa, sending her flying head-first into raging, crocodile-infested waters.

Erin Langworthy's ill-fated jump from the Victoria Falls bridge - 111 metres above the Zambezi River - was caught on camera, showing the rope snapping and a large splash in the water below.

The footage showed her being washed downstream with the bungy cord still wrapped around her legs.

"It went black straight away and I felt like I'd been slapped all over," the 22-year-old Perth woman told Nine News.

In the video her friends' shocked reactions can be heard, including one girl urging the bungy operators to do something.

They can also be heard yelling out her name as she floats down the Zambezi River.

Erin Langworthy was filmed leaping from the bungy platform seconds before the mishap. Photo: Channel Nine

"I actually had to swim down and yank the bungy cord out of whatever it was caught onto," Ms Langworthy said.

She swam to rocks on the side of the river, where she waited to be rescued.

"When I was first pulled out of the water they put me on my back and so all the water that I'd inhaled meant that I couldn't breathe, so I made them roll me onto my side.

"And that's when I started coughing out water and blood."

Ms Langworthy was taken to hospital in South Africa, with bruises and grazes all over her body.

"Yes, I think it's definitely a miracle that I survived."

The Zambia Post reported Ms Langworthy swam to the Zimbabwean side of the river, which is the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean police rushed down a staircase to her aid, the newspaper reported.

Zambia's tourism minister Given Lubinda moved to reassure tourists that bungy jumping was safe.

"The bungy has proven to be a very viable operation considering that more than 50,000 tourists jump on it every year," he told the Lusaka Times.

"It has been in operation for 10 years. This is the first time I am hearing of an incident. The probability of an incident is one in 500,000 jumps."

Mr Lubinda said he would be working with the operator to make sure their equipment was safe and that bungy jumping was "incident-free".

An investigation into the rope snap has been launched by the Tourism Ministry.




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