19th March 2023 – (Bangkok) A Hong Kong resident, Mike, recently had a harrowing experience while bungee jumping at a park in Pattaya, Thailand. He recounted the incident to local media HK01. During the jump, the rope attached to his foot suddenly broke, causing him to fall from a height of about 5 meters into the lake. As a result of the fall, he suffered multiple injuries to his left side, chest, and lungs. However, the park staff immediately rescued him and sent him to the hospital, where he was fortunate enough not to require surgery or hospitalisation. The park compensated him for the bungee jumping fee and emergency medical expenses in Thailand, which totaled around HK$2,000. However, Mike’s desire to claim for medical expenses in Hong Kong meant he had to waive the park’s liability.
Despite complaining to the authorities, Mike was dissatisfied with the compensation he received. Luckily, he had purchased travel insurance before departure, which eventually reimbursed him for all medical expenses incurred in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, he was still traumatized by the incident, stating that the park’s compensation was inadequate considering the severity of the accident.
Mike and his colleagues were introduced to the park through an intermediary and decided to try bungee jumping. At the time, the staff gave them a document with Thai and English, believed to contain insurance terms and conditions, which they signed without much thought. They then took the cable car and slowly rose to a height of about 10 stories. When Mike saw his colleague bounce back up, he became excited and immediately rushed over to try bungee jumping himself. However, this decision almost cost him his life.
Mike described being terrified when he jumped from the high point, keeping his eyes closed the entire time. But when he regained consciousness, he found himself falling into the water, saying, “I closed my eyes and thought that it would bounce me back up.” “When I became conscious, I wondered why I was underwater.”
Fortunately, Mike was conscious and able to quickly swim to the surface on his own, and several park staff immediately jumped into the lake to rescue him and send him for treatment. Despite suffering from immense pain, Mike considers himself fortunate to be alive after the accident.
Sadly, Mike’s experience is not an isolated incident.
Meanwhile, Rishi Baveja, a 22-year-old from the UK, also had a horrific experience while bungee jumping in Thailand in 2009. He sustained injuries likened to those of a car crash victim after the harness securing his feet unravelled during the jump. Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive after he hit the water at 80mph and suffered a ruptured spleen, torn liver, collapsed lungs, and massive bruising. He spent a month in a Bangkok hospital following the incident.
Terry Pearce, the owner of Jungle Bungy Jump, where Baveja jumped, stated that it was the first accident the company had experienced in more than 140,000 jumps over 17 years. However, he added that Baveja had not followed instructions and jumped with his feet first, panicking and kicking his way out of his harness. Pearce emphasized that the company had purchased new equipment that would make it “impossible” for anyone to come loose.
These incidents serve as a reminder of the importance of safety measures and proper training when engaging in extreme sports. Travellers should exercise caution when selecting activity providers and should take time to understand the terms and conditions of any agreement they sign.