Europe

Bungee jumper misunderstood instructor's 'poor English' and jumped without rope, court finds

A Dutch girl jumped to her death after she misunderstood her instructor's "poor English" and leaped off a bridge before she was properly attached to the rope, a court found.

The deadly dive came while Vera Mol was on a group trip with an adventure sports company in August 2015. Even though they were on a bridge in Cantabria, in northern Spain, the instructor was speaking English, according to the court.

The 17-year-old heard “now jump” when the instructor actually said “no jump,” a judge wrote.

The director of the company is facing prosecution for homicide through negligence. Last year the firm argued the blame was on the teenager for jumping before she was given the OK.

The court found there were too many instances of negligence to let the misunderstanding go. The instructor “did not bother himself” to check for parental consent for the underage girl, the Telegraph reported, and she was not hooked up to any safety measures on her ascent.

Bungee jumping from a viaduct on a highway is expressly prohibited, likely in part because the group had nowhere to stand except “on the edge of the abyss” while awaiting their equipment, according to the court.

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The appeal judge added that the English level of an instructor of “something as delicate as jumping into the void from an elevated point” should be much more sufficient than it was. The instructor meant to say “don’t jump,” rather than “no jump”.