01 February 2012

Victoria Falls Bungee resumes on 02 Feb 2012

Tour operator Victoria Falls Bungee has announced that, following a thorough investigation into the bungee incident on 31 Dec 2011 involving an Australian tourist, bungee jumping will resume at Victoria Falls on 02 Feb 2012.
Pls read the press release, issued by  Victoria Falls Bungee on 26 Jan 2012, for further info about the safety audit and inspection of the bungee jumping system at Victoria Falls, as well as about the broken bungee cord and forensic analysis and testing of it.
Further to our previous releases on the incident involving an Australian tourist which occurred on the 31st December 2011 and whereby the bungee cord she was jumping on broke, we now wish to update you as follows;
Firstly we would like to advise that the lady concerned has recovered very well and has now returned to Australia. We continue to wish her well now that she is back home.
Secondly we are pleased to announce that following a thorough investigation into the incident bungee jumping will recommence on the 2nd February 2012.
Since the incident a full and thorough investigation into the cause of the bungee cord failure was conducted which amongst other things included;
  • A detailed safety audit and inspection of the bungee jumping system at Victoria Falls.
  • Subjecting the broken bungee cord to forensic analysis and testing.
During this process of investigation we chose to suspend bungee jumping operations so that the inspectors could carry out their work without interruption and to allow time for the forensic analysis to be carried out. Unfortunately this process took more time than we anticipated due to the availability of the experts..
The international qualified IRATA safety auditors who have audited and inspected our system and equipment, have advised that after inspecting all components of the bungee system they found our safety standards prior the incident to have complied with the international standard ( AS/NZS 5848:2000) for bungee jumping. We have been carrying out bungee jumping in accordance with this code from the Victoria Falls bridge for over 17 years where approximately 150,000 jumps have been done without there ever having been a cord failure. 
As safety is of the utmost concern to us, together with the safety auditors we have developed certain new procedures to improve safety standards. With particular regard to the management and handling of the bungee cords, a safety auditor expressed the opinion that the standards we now apply are unparalleled in the industry in all probability industry leading. We are of the opinion that they set a new standard in terms of safety internationally.
The inspection of the cord which broke was carried out by a team of experts  based in South Africa which was lead by two Professors in Structural Engineering. In their investigations the team amongst other things, compared the rubber used to make the bungee cord that broke against the latest batch of rubbers we obtained directly from our normal supplier. Our understanding of the investigation findings is that the rubbers from the cord which broke were not as strong as they should have been and were weaker than the newer rubbers.  We will be taking this up with the rubber manufacturers. The newer rubbers which we will now use were found to be far stronger than the “Code of Practice for Bungy Jumping” requires.  To ensure as best as possible the strength and integrity of all rubbers we use, we are arranging to have samples from every future batch of rubber tested before being put into service.
In light of the investigations and the opinions of both the safety auditors and the forensic investigators we are satisfied that the cause of the broken cord has been established and that the new standards, testing and inspection methods we have introduced will prevent a recurrence of the incident.
We are therefore pleased to announce that commercial bungee jumping operations will recommence on the 2nd February 2011. (via Victoria Falls Bungee Travel Agent / Press Release & Update issued on 26 Jan 2012)

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