R￼ecently graduated and travelling solo in Africa, Erin Langworthy, 22, was on the trip of a lifetime.
The Aussie joined up with a tour group who were going bungee jumping over the Zambezi River on New Year’s Eve.
‘I’d heard it was incredible – jumping from a bridge 111 metres over a gorge with the thundering falls behind you,’ Erin told The Guardian.
A few seconds into the fall Erin felt a jolt across her chest and instead of slowing down she gained speed, plunging into the river below.
The bungee cord had snapped. ‘I felt as if I had been slapped all over,’ Erin recalled. ‘My lungs were on fire and I was struggling to breathe.’
Erin’s ankles were still bound together and she was tangled with 30 metres of bungee cord as she churned through the crocodile-infested waters.
‘At one point, the cord snagged and I was trapped below the surface,’ said Erin. Managing to dive down and release herself, Erin struggled in the water before finally managing to hook an arm over some rocks.
‘My body was purple with bruises from the impact. I started coughing up blood,’ Erin remembers.
Erin had jumped at 5.30pm and finally, after the paramedics got lost and then had problems getting across the Zimbabwean border without her passport, she reached the hospital at 11pm. Remarkably, Erin’s only internal injuries were partially collapsed lungs.
After recovering in a South African hospital for two weeks, Erin was able to fly home to WA, but the postcard she’d sent to her mother the day before the jump still haunts her. I’m doing a bungee jump tomorrow, so I’ll say goodbye… only joking!
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