Bungee jumper survives fall after cord snaps

January 9, 2012 6:12:11 AM PST
A 22-year-old tourist in Africa who was looking to start 2012 with a memorable experience ended up having a close call.

Bungee jumper Erin Langworthy was 365 feet in the air when the unthinkable happened. Her bungee cord snapped sending her plummeting head-first into the crocodile-infested waters of the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

With her legs still tied and a broken collarbone, she was pulled downstream towards the raging rapids. Somehow, the Australian young woman managed to keep her head above water and swim to some rocks near the riverbank to wait to be rescued.

"They put me on my back, and all the water I inhaled meant I couldn't breathe. They rolled me to my side, and I coughed out water and blood," Langworthy said.

Langworthy told Nine Network television news Sunday that she blacked out briefly when she hit the river on Dec. 31.

"I felt like I'd been slapped all over," the 22-year-old from Perth said. "You get sucked under and then you pop up so it's very disorienting -- I didn't know which was up or down."

She said the trailing cord repeatedly snagged, so she "had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface."

The 22-year-old spent a week in the hospital but amazingly suffered no major injuries.

The jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge is operated by Safari Par Excellence, whose website describes the bungee experience as "111 meters (365 feet) of pure Adrenalin!"

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)