New Year’s day 2012 is not one that Australian tourist Erin Langworthy is likely ever to forget. The 22-year-old nearly lost her life after the cord snapped during a bungee jump off the Victoria Falls bridge. The bridge is over 100 meters above the Zambezi River, a river well known to be inhabited by crocodiles.
When interviewed, Ms. Langworthy said she briefly blacked out after hitting the water and woke up when the current pulled her into the rapids below. With the trailing cord of her bungee snagging repeatedly on objects hidden beneath the water, and no one on the ground to help her, she had to swim down, yank the cord loose and regain the surface with her feet bound together.
Ms. Langworthy eventually reached the bank of the river and was cared for at a local medical clinic before being evacuated to a South African hospital where she spent a week recovering. Miraculously, she suffered only extensive bruising, cuts, and a fractured collar bone. Doctors kept her in South Africa longer than she originally expected because Erin’s lungs gave her continued trouble and she was not allowed to fly.
It’s important for adventure travelers to remember that you’ll be expected to sign a waiver that expunges the operator from any liability – specifically, you bungee jump, sky dive, hang glide, ski, kayak (and more!) at your own risk.
Travelers who partake in adventure tourism should have adventure coverage on their travel insurance plan because nearly all travel insurance plans specifically exclude adventure activities like these from coverage. If you have any plans to partake in adventures on your trip, be sure to have adventure coverage on your travel insurance plan so your medical evacuation and treatment will be covered by travel insurance. Plus, with medical evacuation coverage, you’ll have a safe return trip home when you are well enough to travel.