In one of the most tragic stories of 2017, a teenager fell to her death when she bungee jumped off a bridge after mishearing her instructor.
It has been said the instructor had ‘bad English’, which resulted in Vera Mol misinterpreting a simple instruction.
The incident happened on the bridge of Cabezon de la Sal in northern Spain in 2015, and serves as a potent reminder of ensuring safety when carrying out risky sports.
Vera Mol was told ‘no jump’ by her instructor as she was stood on the bridge, but she misheard the instruction as ‘now jump’ and sadly leapt to her untimely death.
While she was in her harness and other safety equipment, this equipment was tragically not tied to anything else and she plunged to her death.
Judges in the court of Cantabria only heard the facts of the case in June of this year, and concluded that the accident occurred because of the unnamed instructor’s poor English skills.
The instructor appeared in court accused of causing the Dutch girl’s death.
Judges say that the instructor should have checked Vera’s ID to ensure that she was at least 18-years-old and that his English was ‘macarronico’ meaning ‘very bad’.
The instructor was meant to say ‘don’t jump’ instead of ‘no jump’ to avoid confusions such as this one.
Perhaps even more tragically, the bridge was not supposed to be used for bungee jumping under Spanish rules – Ms Mol should not have even been bungeeing there in the first place.
Martijn Klom from Flowtrack, the company which employed the man, said it was an accident caused by a misunderstanding of instructions.
According to Mr Klom, the girl jumped when she was tied by the rope, but without being secured to the bridge.
This story serves as a potent reminder of the importance of safety when travelling abroad when it might be more difficult to assess the safety of a given situation.
Still, this is a tragedy which should not have happened, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Vera Mol.