At least four individuals have died in recent months after performing a dangerous TikTok challenge involving speeding boats, claiming their lives in the process.
According to authorities in Alabama, the individuals jumped or flipped off the backs of the vessels while they were moving. This led to their breaking their necks and drowning. They could have been easily saved if they had refrained from participating in the dangerous ‘boat jumping’ trend.
Captain Jim Dennis of Childersburg Rescue Squad has shed light on the situation. He explicated that, “They were doing a TikTok challenge. It’s where you get in a boat going at a high rate of speed, you jump off the side of the boat, don’t dive, you’re jumping off feet first and you just kinda lean into the water.”
— New York Post (@nypost) July 9, 2023
TikTok video footage has surfaced on this matter showing individuals performing the challenge, with captions like ‘boat jumping’ visible. It appears that the challenge has been in circulation for two years, but has recently intensified, leading the first death in February this year.
Gail Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation shed light on how dangerous the act is, noting that jumping from a speeding vessel is similar to falling from heights onto concrete.
“Water is not soft to land on when you are going at speed,” Kulp warned. She further added, “If you are not wearing a life jacket when you do it, by the time the boat circles back around to come get you most likely you will have drowned.”
Young people are mostly likely to perform the challenge in order to show off for their peers. Telling Fox News, one individual said, “People who are being filmed are more likely to behave poorly because they want to show off in front of their friends or for like, social media.”
In his attempt to prevent any further causalities, Captain Dennis requested people to stay clear of the challenge, telling them, “It’s not worth your life.”
Individuals, especially the younger demographic have been warned by authorities to stay away from the dangerous challenge to ensure that their lives are not compromised. Perhaps, education outreach could be used to better inform and raise awareness regarding the deadly activity.