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February 28, 2005

Can we blame it on the metric system?

What happens when a 290 pound man tries to bungee jump using a bungee cord with a maximum weight of 200 pounds? British “experts” are claiming that it could result in an “accident” (American measures in red)

AN EXPERT has warned that bungee jump safety may be fatally flawed.

Evidence from an inquest into the horrific death of a 22-year-old Welsh student at a charity jump raises safety concerns for jumpers across the UK.

Chris Thomas, a 20-stone [280 pound] photographic technician from Llanelli, plunged to his death after leaping from a 180ft crane in the car park of a pub in Swansea.

The appalling accident at the Old Barn Inn in Pontlassau, Morriston, was witnessed by onlookers at a family fun day including Chris's girlfriend Helen Perkins, 23, and his parents David and Yvonne Thomas who were filming the jump.

An inquest in Swansea heard yesterday that Chris, who lived with Helen in Canton, Cardiff, weighed 132kg, [291 pounds] or 20st 10lb. [290 pounds] But an expert investigation discovered that the rope holding him had a maximum load weight of just 90kg,[198.4 lbs] and should not have safely held more than 70kg.[154.3 lbs]

The inquest heard that Chris would have been speeding to the ground at more than 31mph when the bungee rope was at full stretch. Normally it should have slowed him down to a stop by then. As a result, his feet slipped through the straps buckled around his ankles and a weaker secondary harness failed. He died seven hours later from loss of blood.

This sounds like one for the Darwin awards. Why do “experts” think this affect all of the UK? Are they making a statement about the average intelligence of Brits? I know some Limeys, and they seem smart enough to me. At least smart enough to check the weight limitations on a bungee cord before risking their life on it.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 28, 2005 08:48 AM

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