Saturday, 14 January 2012

Minister bungee-jumps from Victoria Falls to prove it is safe

Zambia's tourism minister bungee-jumped from Victoria Falls to reassure tourists the activity is safe after an Aussie backpacker's rope snapped last week.
Given Lubinda took the plunge after footage of Australian backpacker Erin Langworthy falling into the Zambezi River was shown around the world last week, the Daily Mail reports.
Langworthy survived, despite falling head-first into the rapids when her bungee cord snapped as she leaped from the 111m-high bridge on New Year's Eve.
Mr Lubinda said he remained convinced the accident was a one-off and the attraction was safe.
Speaking after completing the jump yesterday, the Mr Lubinda said "I myself will be engaging the operator on how we can make this exciting tourism event become totally incident-free."
Mr Lubinda's display of confidence in the jump came as its operator confirmed Ms Langworthy's snapped rope had been sent to South Africa to be tested by experts.
Mike Davies, boss of the Safari Par Excellence travel company which reportedly organised her jump, said the incident was a "one off" and added that a full investigation had been launched.
He told New Zimbabwe: "There have been over 150,000 people jumping over the last 17 years without incident. So we are confident in it."
He said a team of experts had been brought in to look at improving safety on the attraction, and added: "We have replaced all the equipment, all the ropes and the elastics in the meantime."
Describing her survival as a "miracle", Ms Langworthy told Channel 9 she blacked out as she hit the water.
"It felt like I had been slapped all over," she said. After hitting the water she started swimming downstream but her bungee cord became snagged on rocks.
"I actually had to swim down to yank the bungee cord out of what it was caught in," she said.
When she made it to rocks, her rescuers rolled her on her back.
"All the water I inhaled meant I couldn't breathe and I made them roll me on to my side and that's when I started coughing up water and blood."
The Safari Par Excellence website says the bungee experience is "111m of pure adrenalin!".
"Based on The Victoria Falls Bridge, the Bungi (sic) jump can certainly be classed as the most scenic in the world. Not for the faint hearted!" the website says.

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