March 23, 2023
SINGAPORE – The bungee cord of a tourist leaping from a 10-storey-high platform in Thailand snapped in midair, sending him plunging into a lake in Pattaya.
The man from Hong Kong, known only as Mike, momentarily blacked out in the water, but regained consciousness and swam out of the lake with the help of the attraction’s employees. He was then taken to hospital, Hong Kong news outlet hk01 reported.
The incident reportedly happened in February in the Changthai Thappraya Safari and Adventure Park located in the popular Thai tourist destination of Pattaya.
Mike told hk01: “The pain was so intense that I felt dizzy. As my arms were stretched out, my armpit area was the worst hit.”
A video of the incident shows Mike free falling for about six seconds from a height of about 30m and approaching the surface of the lake when the bungee cord suddenly breaks.
He enters the water head first from a height of about 5m with a big splash, to the horror of his friends who were watching and filming the jump.
Pictures of his injuries show bruises on his limbs, with the skin around his armpit area appearing peeled.
Mike told hk01 he also had a lung infection and was hospitalised for three days after returning to Hong Kong.
His medical bills, which came to about HK$50,000 (S$8,500), were covered by travel insurance. He said the park offered him only HK$2,300, comprising HK$1,800 in medical fees and a HK$500 refund of the bungee jump.
Mike said he has written an e-mail to the park and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to file a complaint.
He wrote: “My friends and I suffered losses due to the accident, including changes to our travel plans, my injuries and income loss… If the accident had been more severe, I could have lost my life.”
The bungee jump operator Natthaphon Yokcharoen on Wednesday apologised for the incident.
“Thappraya Safari has been open for seven years and nothing like this has ever happened. All of our equipment is licensed. I would like to apologise for this incident,” he said.
Last November, a woman visiting Colombia accidentally leapt to her death after forgetting she was not attached to a bungee cord.
Ms Yecenia Morales Gomez, 25, allegedly heard an instructor telling her partner to jump and believed the command was for her.