Some thrill seekers describe bungee jumping as a near-death experience, but few come quite as close as one man who managed to survive his cord snapping in Thailand.
Footage of the terrifying ordeal went viral this week after the 39-year-old tourist from Hong Kong went public with his story.
The tourist, who asked to use only his first name Mike to avoid online harassment, took a swan dive off of a 10-story-high podium in the town of Pattaya while on holiday in January this year.
Fortunately, the jump was made over a body of water. The bungee rope snapped milliseconds before Mike neared the bottom of his jump, slamming him into the water below.
“I landed on my left side so the injuries were more serious there,” Mike told CNN, recounting how he was left covered in bruises. “It was as if someone just beat me up real bad.”
His plunge was witnessed by friends who were with him at the Changthai Thappraya Safari and Adventure Park.
Located in the northwest of Pattaya, the amusement park offers activities ranging from ziplines to live-round shooting.
Mike said he originally went to the park to try out the firing range, but plucked up the courage to do a bungee jump after his friends dared him.
“It was really high so I closed my eyes. I planned to open my eyes again when I bounced back up,” said Mike. “I realized the cord had snapped when I opened my eyes and I was surrounded by water.”
He managed to resurface and swim despite his feet being tied together by the lower half of the snapped bungee cord.
“If the person doesn’t know how to swim, he or she will be in big trouble,” he said.
Mike said the park refunded the cost of his jump and paid for x-ray and ultrasound scans in Thailand.
Nithit Intim, founder of the park, confirmed the accident took place and said it was first time he had seen a cord snap.
“After the cord was broken, our staff got him [mike] out of the water immediately, and asked him if he was okay,” he told CNN. “He [Mike] said he felt bruised. So we took him to the hospital.”
Intim said Mike had signed a liability waiver before making the jump. He also sent a photograph of what he said was the signed waiver, as well as copies of the medical bills in Thailand.
“Our staff explained that if any mishap happens or any accident takes place, our company will compensate medical bills. But the client can’t demand for compensation on other kind of expenses,” Intim said.
He added that the park would be willing to pay any further direct medical expenses in Hong Kong if receipts were provided.