Bungee jumping is an extreme sport and recreational activity. The concept behind the sport is rather simple. A jumper leaps from a high, fixed surface while an elastic cord is attached to the feet ways. The court stretches at that and of the jumpers call and snaps the person back up in the air. This repeats several times until the energy from the jump has been completely dissipated. Bungee jumping is usually done from a height of several hundred feet.
Statistics on Bungee Jumping Deaths
1. Between 1986 and 2002, only 18 reported fatalities have resulted from bungee jumping.
2. The risks of having an accident while bungee jumping: 1:500,000.
3. Taking 1 bungee jump is about as dangerous as driving 100 miles by automobile in the United States.
4. There is a higher likelihood of death when you drive at speeds of more than 100 mph than there is in bungee jumping.
5. Human error is the #1 reason why bungee jumping deaths occur.
6. Cords can be more than 1,000 feet long for a bungee jump.
7. The highest commercial bungee jump in the world was 764 feet, jumping off the Macau Tower in China.
8. The first bungee jump was made from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in England in 1978.
9. The James Bond movie Golden Eye featured the largest bungee jump ever performed when it occurred back in 2002. It was voted the best stunt of all time.
10. Andrew Salisbury performed a successful bungee jump from a helicopter over Cancun, Mexico, falling 3,157 feet in 1991.
11. Bungee operators use different cords such as in the southern hemisphere where a more unbraided cord gives a longer, softer bounce.
12. Prince William performed a tandem bungee jump with friend Guy Pelly over the River Nile while on holiday in Uganda in 2003.
13. Frequent injuries have included dislocations, rope burn, back injuries and eye trauma.
14. The 170ft Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge is the UK’s only regular bridge jump.
15. For $10k, a bungee jump into a volcano in Pucon, Chile is possible.
16. Jumper Carl Dionisio used condoms for his bungee cord when he made a 100ft jump in South Africa.
17. The estimated risk in BASE jumping for any injury, independent of its severity grade, is 0.4-0.5%.
18. Men outnumber women in a ratio of 10:1 in both injuries and case fatality rates in bungee jumping.
19. Age of victims is frequently reported to range from 30-40 years in bungee jumping deaths and injury accidents.
Risk of Accident or Death
Anytime someone decides to jump from a high place, there is a certain risk of bodily injury present. Despite this fact, there have been millions of successful bungee jumps, partly because there is a strict following of guidelines and safety standards when this sport is being performed. Jumpers are very diligent in making sure that the fittings for their jump have been checked and double checked.
Despite everyone’s best efforts to be saved, accidents are going to happen. Sometimes these accidents even result in a serious injury or death. The most common reason why a bungee jumper suffers an accident is because the cord was too long. This happens because the jumper doesn’t allow for enough space for their court to stretch as it consumes the energy from the jump. This results in a ground impact and a potential tragedy. The detachment of ankle harnesses has also become a common reason for accidents to occur.
As the statistics will show, however, bungee jumping is a reasonably safe sport considering what the action of the sport happens to be. Although this extreme recreational activity may not be for everyone, there may be no safer way for someone to enjoy the feeling of flight, even if it is just for a few minutes.
Common Questions and Concerns
Any sport entails risk. How that risk is managed will contribute to the accident rates or contribute to a fun and safe experience. Most bungee jumpers and up having a fun and safe experience.
Before going bungee jumping for the first time, you have some questions that you should ask yourself. The first involves why you want to do it in the first place. Answering this question can help you determine if you should use a commercial crane or do a private jump from a bridge or other stationary objects. It is important that you choose not to jump on your own if this is your first time. Even experienced jumpers will have others on hand to make sure that a jump is completed safely.
There are also a variety of positions that bungee jumpers can use. Many first time jumpers want to use the swan dive method as it is the classic bungee jumping experience. Some outfitters use an even more extreme method of bungee jumping that allows a jumper to touch the water from a dive because the energy from the jump has been correctly calculated. Whatever the case may be, knowing what to expect from your jump before it occurs is a critical part of a jump’s success.
Knowing how you will be retrieved after jump has been completed is also important. You don’t want to be stuck dangling upside down from the cord for a long period of time. Most jumping outfits will lower a second line down to your harness after a jump has been completed so that you can be pulled back up. Others may choose to lower you all the way down to the ground below. The second option is the most dangerous option, so knowing what is planned beforehand will help you be able to prepare more effectively.
For about $100, you can’t deny the rush that bungee jumping is able to provide. With the average of about one fatality per year in this extreme sport, there aren’t many safer options that can provide you with such a rush as this sport can provide.