Australian backpacker Erin Langworthy fell into the Zambezi river following the terrifying mishap, which happened as she leapt from a bridge at Victoria Falls on the country’s border with Zimbabwe. The 22-year-old told how her feet were still tied together as she fell head first into the fast-flowing rapids beneath the world’s largest waterfall. Miss Langworthy said she feared for her life but managed to survive after swimming to a nearby bank on the side of the river.
‘I landed with my legs tied and then had to swim to the Zimbabwe side [of the river] through the rapids,’ she told Australia‘s Channel Nine network. ‘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.’
Ms Langworthy spend a week in hospital following the incident, which happened on New Year’s Eve. Officials have since launched an investigation into what caused the terrifying accident. Chilling footage of the incident shows the young holidaymaker, from Perth, leaping from the bridge which crosses a gorge 111 metres above the water.
It shows how her bungee cord snapped as she reached the bottom of her descent, sending her flying down towards the water below. According to reports it is believed she was around 20 metres above the Zambezi when the cord broke. She hit the water and immediately fought to get herself towards the shore.
Zambian police spokeswoman Brenda Muntemba confirmed the holidaymaker was eventually rescued after reaching the side of the river.
She was treated by medics in the town of Victoria Falls before being transferred to a hospital in neighbouring South Africa. The government has set out to reassure people the tourist attraction is safe, despite the incident. Tourism minister Given Lubinda said around 50,000 people made the leap each year at the world-famous beauty spot.
‘The bungee has proven to be a very viable operation considering that more than 50,000 tourists jump on it every year.