The Sideshow

Video: Woman survives fall from broken bungee rope

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

A 22-year-old Australian woman is recovering after a bungee cord jump went horribly wrong, sending her plummeting into white water rapids while she vacationed in Africa. To add to the trauma, the rapids in question--on the Zambezi River, on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border--are reportedly thick with crocodiles.

"It felt like I had been slapped all over," Erin Langworthy told Australia's Channel 9 News. "I landed with my legs tied and then had to swim to the Zimbabwe side [of the river] through the rapids."

Langworthy jumped 111 meters (364 feet) from a bridge above the Zambezi River. Everything was going as planned until the bottom of the jump, when resistance on Langworthy's rope caused it to snap, sending her plummeting into the river below.

Langworthy was then forced to navigate the tumultuous waters with her feet still tied together from the jump.

"It was quite scary because a couple of times the rope actually got caught on some rocks or debris," Langworthy said. "I actually had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface."

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Moments before Erin Langworthy's bungee corp snapped

The video captures the ordeal in detail. It shows Langley hitting the water--at which point, the spectators on hand all took a moment to realize just what happened. At length, they determined that Langworthy was in the water and struggling to swim against the rapids and her rope restraints.

"It's definitely a miracle I survived," she said.

A Zambian information minister said that such accidents are extremely rare. "The bungee has proven to be a very viable operation considering that more than 50,000 tourists jump on it every year. It has been in operation for 10 years," said Information Minister Given Lubinda. "This is the first time I am hearing of an incident."

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