June 28, 2017

"'No jump, it’s important, no jump,' he said... But Ms. Mol, apparently misunderstanding his pronunciation, heard, 'Now jump.'"

"She threw herself from the ledge — and plunged to her death. The harness she was wearing had not yet been secured to the bridge."

From "Deadly Bungee Jump in Spain Could Lead to Criminal Charges" (NYT).

Vera Mol was 17. The bridge was 130 feet high.

51 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Filed under 'Things I'll never do'

I dreaded going out on our hotel balcony -- 15 floors up -- yesterday. Who knows when those things will detach from the Building!?

Irrationally yrs,

MMan

EDH said...

Could she even assume the risk and waive liability at 17?

John Tuffnell said...

What is the Dutch equivalent to every mother's confrontational caution "Would you follow if your friends all jumped off a bridge?"

The poor girl. Unbelievable casualness from the bungee company when someone else's life is in the balance. Re-think the situation if all that lies between you and the abyss is a Spaniard who speaks broken English, especially if English is not your native language.

Snark said...

"No Trump, it's important, no Trump".

Same thing happened to 2016.

George Grady said...

See, I wouldn't take anybody's word for it that everything is ready in that sort of situation. If I don't know enough to know how to check for myself, and haven't verified that everything's set, I'm not jumping off any bridge or building.

n.n said...

Press 2 for English.

MisterBuddwing said...

Can't help thinking the guy could have/should have reinforced what he was saying with some body language (e.g., an upraised hand).

rehajm said...

Right here, TURN LEFT!!!

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

George Grady is exactly right. I bungee jumping years ago. I was under 18 but I still knew enough to check the safety equipment myself.

Robert Cook said...

I can't understand why anyone would want to go bungee jumping, even if it was secured. You couldn't pay me to do it.

MayBee said...

I will only ever do this if I'm competing on The Amazing Race.

PackerBronco said...

Okay jump, but first you have to ...

Big Mike said...

Lots of things can go wrong on a bungee jump. Like in this case. The link is to a commercial Erin made based on surviving the fall when her harness broke. BTW, the river she fell into was known to have crocodiles in it.

Expat(ish) said...

I used to jump out of perfectly good non-burning airplanes for fun (yes, there was a girl involved) and the consensus among everyone was that bungee jumping was dangerous and dumb.

Oddly, as I was a Dive Master, my take was that skydivers were really lax about their equipment compared to divers. No mandatory bungee check, no way to test a release, ....

So, yeah, never been tempted.

-XC

Ann Althouse said...

Relying on words is just not good enough when people are not all known to share the same language. Even then, accents vary and people mishear. "No" seems like such a strong, clear, well-understood word. I had never noticed its similarity to "now."

Shouted twice, with urgency, must have made her feel that she was taking too much time and being yelled at to jump.

Yancey Ward said...

I don't understand letting the client into a position where they can jump off without already having the harness secured. This is criminal negligence.

Etienne said...

I wonder if there was a little puff of dirt when she hit. You know, like with the Wile E. Coyote ?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

That's pretty fucking horrible.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Robert Cook said...
I can't understand why anyone would want to go bungee jumping, even if it was secured. You couldn't pay me to do it.

6/28/17, 11:16 AM

I'm with you on this one. I get nauseated just thinking about it.

AllenS said...

Why do people go bungee jumping? Because it's more fun than reading any of the books that Hillary thinks that she'd like you to think that she reads.

AllenS said...

Also, I was an Army paratrooper, and all of us attached our own static lines to the cable inside the plane. Some jobs you need to do yourself.

William said...

I've read here that suicidal jumpers immediately regret their decision after they have jumped. She missed out on that moment of clarity. She was exhilarated and awaited the tug of the cord until her neck broke. She died thinking that she was brave rather than stupid. I guess that's a consolation. She gets Valhalla instead of a Darwin Award.

rhhardin said...

Negative jump.

Fen said...

I remember that awkward moment in Cancun, about to climb back down from Chitzinitzu (fuck you spellcheck) and suddenly realizing this was not America with all of its park safety regulations protecting idiot tourists like me from tumbling to my death.

They had a rope leading down you could use as a contact point. I used it.

buwaya said...

Spain probably has one of the lower rates of English knowledge and English fluency in Europe.

Char Char Binks said...

By saying "No jump" he put the command "jump" in her head, using NLP wizardry. He's one of those Scott Adams master persuaders.

exiledonmainstreet said...

AllenS said...
Why do people go bungee jumping? Because it's more fun than reading any of the books that Hillary thinks that she'd like you to think that she reads.

6/28/17, 11:57 AM

Those are our two choices? Well, I'd rather commit every Maya Angelou poem to memory than bungee jump, because that's how scary the thought of bungee jumping is to me.

Joe said...

"Could she even assume the risk and waive liability at 17? "

No, which apparently is but one of a long series of violations by the operator, including that they had been previously prohibited from doing bungee jumps there.

Expat(ish) said...

We were eating lunch with our small children (3, 6, 8) at the top of the Sydney AMP Tower when some *sshole dove by the window.

He was bungie jumping but terrified all of us. My children were really upset.

I'd forgotten that until now.

-XC

Fernandinande said...

Vera Mol was 17. The bridge was 130 feet high.

Almost 7.7 feet per year.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
Filed under 'Things I'll never do'"

You could put a gun to my head but in the end you would be pulling the trigger.

gspencer said...

Saying the right words is rather important, as this case shows. Actually she didn't bungee jump. She just jumped. To bungee jump, your feet must first be attached to a bungee cord.

readering said...

A little surprised this happened with a Dutch tourist. English proficiency there the highest of any country I've visited (itself not surprising given how close the two languages are).

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

He just didn't want to be accused of mansplaining.

Lucien said...

@ ExPat(ish):

I thought about the comparison to SCUBA, too. It seems amazing that there wasn't at least a verbal run-through of the procedures, and an explanation of the directions to be given in a way that avoided confusion.

I've never done one of these jumps, myself, but it seems like after you jump, there's nothing you can do to control what happens: so ALL of you safety precautions, checks etc.have to come pre-jump.

Darrell said...

How does anyone *know* what Ms Mol heard? Did they hold a seance?

madAsHell said...

Press 2 for English.

That's it. I quit.

Michael said...

I was on my first bonefishing trip many decades ago. Mexico. As a fish approached the guide frantically began shouting "too close, too close." So I didn't cast. It happened a couple more times before I realized he was trying to say "very close, very close." Jeez.

Michael said...

Fen

And yet in the USA where it is illegal to leave a banana peel on the sidewalk it is possible to ride a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon!! The abyss on one side all the way.

Freeman Hunt said...

I remember that awkward moment in Cancun, about to climb back down from Chitzinitzu (fuck you spellcheck) and suddenly realizing this was not America with all of its park safety regulations protecting idiot tourists like me from tumbling to my death.

Heh. I climbed up there with my dad when I was eighteen. Glad we got the chance. They don't let people climb on it anymore.

On the way over from Cozumel, people on the little plane complained of being hot, so the pilot opened the window. All of us gasped. Heh.

Ken B said...

"You couldn't pay me to do it."

I don't think Robert that many here would pay you to jump off a bridge, with a bungee cord attached. ;)

tim maguire said...

Darrell, I was thinking the same thing--how do we presume to know what she heard?

n.n said...

madAsHell:

When in Spain, speak as the Spanish do. It's a sign of respect. Unless you're a visitor, then there are lower expectations.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Seems like there should be some kind of physical barrier, a gate or control arm, that is in place until after the 15-point safety checklist has been attended to.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I have a 15 year old daughter with bright blue eyes and a head of blond curls. It gives me the shivers to look at that poor girl's photo. Her poor mother.

Expat(ish) said...

@Lucien - well put - bungee jumping seems to be a binary sort of sport.

In skydiving your reserve chute is packed by a certified professional, so as long as you have remembered to put your harness on (don't laugh, it happens) you have one chute pretty much guaranteed to work.

-XC

PS - When you pull your reserve your main chute cuts away automatically, a great safety feature.

JohnG said...

First, no one should be in a position where they can jump (or slip) until everything is secured and good to go.
Second, critical commands should have no words in common - really, no common sounds and a different cadence.

But rules like these are learned, and re-learned because someone died.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I jumped 75' in the Dells.

Safer than riding a CR500.

BN said...

Why do we find danger to be so exciting/fun? Bungee jumping, cliff diving, roller coasters, speed racing, all sorts of things we seek out, and that we pay big bucks for, just for a momentary surge of adrenalin. Why do we crave it so?

My theory is we have civilized our lives so much that we have become bored with everything. Go to work, ho hum. Honey, how was your day? Ho hum. We are so intellectual, let's talk about the meaning of this or that, it's really interesting deep, deep shit.
But inside we still crave the chase of predator vs. prey. That's what our genes miss the most. We need that rush.

Our sports are all some sophisticated variation or another of the chase, some using missiles where the accuracy of throwing is what counts the most (e.g., baseball), some are more directly a chase but with sophisticated strategies for getting away and or capturing (e.g., football), and so on and so forth. We like it so much, we spend billions just to watch others do it. Vicarious danger if you will.

Basically, in our innermost essence, we don't really like being smart. It's a way lot harder and not near as thrilling as the daily immediacy of life and death that formed us during our evolutionary development. Our genes still miss that.

traditionalguy said...

She was lost in translation. Fortunately, she was not Scarlett Johanson.

Rusty said...

Guildofcannonballs said...
I jumped 75' in the Dells.

Safer than riding a CR500.

It all depends on how you ride it.