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Free fall

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If you like scary stories, here’s one for you. Imagine being brave enough to do a 111-metre-high bungee jump when suddenly your cord breaks in mid air. 

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Less than a second later, Erin Langworthy’s bungee cord would snap, plunging her into the river below.

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Australian woman survives fall after bungee cord snaps

Erin Langworthy

AFP, SYDNEY An Australian woman whose bungee jumping cord snapped, plunging her head-first into raging crocodile-infested waters in Africa’s Zambezi River, yesterday described her “miraclesurvival.

Erin Langworthy, 22, was on holiday on New Year’s Eve when she took on the 111m bungee jump from the Victoria Falls bridge above the river, which borders Zambia and Zimbabwe.

However, it all went horribly wrong when the cord snapped about halfway into the jump. The terrifying moment was caught on video and Langworthy is seen hitting the water with her feet still tied before being swept toward rapids.

“It went black straight away and I felt like I’d been slapped all over,” she told Australia’s Channel Nine in an interview recounting the moment of impact. “As I went deeper down, the water got colder and it must have snapped me out of it.”

Langworthy, from Perth, said she had been white water rafting the previous day and remembered some of the safety tips to get through the looming rapids.

“The water was going quite quickly and then I started to hear the roaring,” she said. “It’s like being in waves; you get sucked under and then you pop up, so it’s very disorienting. I didn’t know which was up or down.”

She managed to swim to the Zimbabwe side of the river, where she hauled herself out.

“It was quite scary because a couple of times the rope actually got caught on some rocks or debris,” she said. “I actually had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface.”

Langworthy suffered a fractured collar bone as well as massive bruising in the accident and was taken to South Africa for treatment.

“Yes, I think it’s definitely a miracle that I survived,” she told the broadcaster.

You can see a video of the accident here:

cord – strong thick string or thin rope เชือก
snap –  to break something suddenly with a sharp noise; to be broken in this way แตกและมีเสียงดังแหลม
plunge – to move or fall suddenly and often a long way forward, down or into something ลงอย่างเร็ว
survive – to continue to live มีชีวิตรอด
raging – happening with a lot of force or violence รุนแรงมาก
infested – full of something harmful or unpleasant ซึ่งเข้าไปอยู่เต็ม
miracle (miraculous) – extremely lucky and unexpected  อย่างมหัศจรรย์ อย่างไม่น่าเชื่อ
border – to form a line along the edge of something, in the case a line between countries  สร้างขอบเขต, (เขตแดน อาณาเขต)
survival – the fact or state of continuing to live or exist, especially in difficult conditions การอยู่รอด
horrible – very unpleasant สะเทือนขวัญ
terrifying – extremely frightening; causing great fear น่าสะพรึงกลัว
swept (past form sweep) –moved quickly through an area; moved with powerful force  เคลื่อนไปอย่างรวดเร็ว, พัดพาเอาไป
rapids – part of a river where the water flows very fast, usually over rocks ส่วนของแม่น้ำที่มีน้ำไหลแรงและเร็ว
slap – to hit with the flat part of the hand ตบ
recount – to describe how something happened; to tell a story เล่า, บรรยาย
impact – the force with which one object hits another แรงกระแทก
snap out – to cause someone to wake up or to pay attention again  ปลดปล่อย (ความรู้สึก), เอาออกมา
white water – a part of a river that looks white because the water is moving very fast over rocks
rafting – the sport or activity of travelling down a river on a raft การเดินทางด้วยแพ
tip – a small piece of advice about something practical คำแนะนำ
looming – seeming likely to happen soon  ที่เห็นลางๆ
roaring – a loud continuous noise made by the wind or sea, or by a machine เสียงดังลั่น
wave – a raised line of water that moves across the surface of the sea, ocean, etc คลื่น
suck – to pull somebody/something with great force in a particular direction ดูด
disorienting – making somebody unable to recognise where they are or where they should go สับสนและไม่เข้าใจว่าอะไรเกิดขึ้นรอบตัวเอง
haul – to pull something heavy slowly and with difficulty ลาก
scary – frightening น่าตกใจ, น่ากลัว
debris – broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed  เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
yank – to pull something/somebody hard, quickly and suddenly กระชาก, ดึงอย่างแรง
surface – the outside or top layer of something  ผิวหน้า, ผิวภายนอก, ด้านนอก
fracture –  a break or crack in something hard, especially a bone การแตก (โดยเฉพาะกระดูก)
collar bone – one of the pair of bones that go across the top of your chest from your shoulder to the bottom of your neck กระดูกไหปลาร้า
massive – very large มหาศาล
bruise – a mark that you get on your body if you are hit or if you knock against something  แผลฟกช้ำ, รอยฟกช้ำ
treatment – the process of providing medical care การรักษา
broadcaster – a person whose job is presenting or talking on television or radio programmes ผู้กระจายเสียงทางวิทยุหรือโทรทัศน์

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