A 22-year-old Australian tourist had a close encounter of the crocodile kind when her bungee cord snapped during a jump off the Victoria Falls bridge that links Zimbabwe and Zambia. Fortunately, she lived to tell the tale.
Erin Laung Worth had been enjoying a trip to the spectacular Victoria Falls, a natural wonder of the world, when she and some friends decided to do the jump, organised by a company called Safari Par Excellency, on New Year's Eve according to a report in the New York Daily News.
In an interview with Australian Channel 9, Erin spoke about her plunge into the raging rapids of the Zambezi River below the Falls when the cord broke.
It went black straight away and I felt like I'd been slapped all over. It was quite scary because a couple of times the rope actually got caught on some rocks or debris. I actually had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface
The young woman had to swim to the Zimbabwe side of the river with her feet still tied together through waters known to be infested by crocodiles. Once she reached the river bank, rescuers came to her aid but they laid her on her back to begin with, meaning all the water she had inhaled prevented her from breathing. She managed to persuade her well meaning rescuers to turn her on her side so that she could cough out the water and blood that had accumulated in her lungs.
She was first treated at a clinic in the Victoria Falls town before being transferred to South Africa for hospital treatment. Fortunately, she didn't receive any serious injuries just a lot of bruising. Investigations are taking place to find out why the cord broke.
The historic rail bridge at Victoria Falls was built as part of Cecil John Rhodes idea of a railway from the 'Cape to Cairo'. It was built in England before being sent to the Mozambique port of Beira and then was taken to its current position crossing the Second Gorge below the Victoria falls. It took fourteen months to build and was officially opened in September 1905.
In recent years, it has become a popular choice for thrill seekers looking for ever more dangerous bungee jumping sites.
Here is an interview she did with Sky News: