Erin Langworthy survived after the bungee jumping cord snapped at Victoria Falls in Zambia
Australian backpacker Erin Langworthy has miraculously survived following a fall into crocodile-infested waters after the cord snapped while she was bungee jumping in Zambia.
Erin Langworthy, 22, 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 young woman told how her feet were still tied together as she fell head first into the fast-flowing rapids beneath the world’s largest waterfall.
She said she feared for her life but managed to survive after swimming to a nearby bank on the side of the river.
Erin Langworthy said: “It went black straight away and I felt like I’d been slapped all over.
“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.
“When I was first pulled out of the water they put me on my back and so all the water that I’d inhaled meant that I couldn’t breathe, so I made them roll me onto my side.
“And that’s when I started coughing out water and blood. I think it’s definitely a miracle that I survived.”
A battered and bruised Erin Langworthy spent 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 tourist, from Perth, leaping from the bridge which crosses a gorge 111 meters 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 Erin Langworthy was around 20 meters 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.
Erin Langworthy was treated by medics in the town of Victoria Falls before being transferred to a hospital in neighboring 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.
“It has been in operation for 10 years. This is the first time I am hearing of an incident. The probability of an incident is one in 500,000 jumps.”
The minister added that his office had launched a full investigation.
Every week hundreds of tourists pay around $120 for the thrill of jumping off a rail bridge which links the two countries.
The Zambia Post reported that the jump was operated by a private firm, Bungee Extreme, which confirmed it was looking into the incident.