Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bungee jumps suspended at Victoria Falls

HARARE — A Zimbabwean tourism company has suspended bungee jumps at Victoria Falls while they investigate an accident in which a tourist plunged into the Zambezi River, a spokesman said Thursday.
"We voluntarily suspended bungee jumping for two days (from Wednesday) to allow an audit of the accident that happened" after a cord snapped, Shearwater Adventures spokesman Clement Mukwasi told AFP.
"This was to allow the auditors, management and crew the opportunity to analyse the causes of the broken cord and review the new system and procedures without distractions."
Jumps could resume from the weekend, he added.
On New Year's Eve, 22-year-old Australian Erin Langworthy jumped from the Victoria Falls bridge and fell head-first into the Zambezi River, 111 metres (364 feet) below.
The hair-raising accident was caught on video and Langworthy is seen hitting the water with her feet still tied before being swept towards rapids on the river, which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Langworthy managed to avoid any crocodiles and swim to the Zimbabwe side of the river, where she hauled herself out.
She suffered a fractured collar bone and severe bruising and was taken to South Africa for treatment.
Mukwasi said "all other activities including bridge swings, slides tours and the restaurant facility will continue as normal."
Zambia's tourism minister Given Lubinda on Sunday took a bungee jump in an attempt to assure tourists of its safety.
Tourism is the life blood of the towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone in Zambia, where upmarket resorts attract visitors from around the world.
Mukwasi said the probability of an accident was one in 50,000 jumps a year.