Social Media

Boat jumping a new dangerous TikTok challenge

Boat Jumping

The Alabama police explained that there does not appear to be a correlation between the incidents and TikTok, although videos of users jumping from moving boats have been posted on the platform.

The TikTok challenge

They stand on the boat’s edge, behind the engine-powered wake and then leap, cheered by their friends who film them. On TikTok, users posted videos of the dive with the hashtag #boatjumping underneath. It seemed like one of the many challenges that went viral on the platform, and the news came.

Four deaths in Alabama due to the jump were reported in international newspapers, and Jim Dennis, captain of the Childersburg rescue team: “In the last six months, we have had four easily avoidable drownings. They were having a challenge. You have to get on a boat that goes at high speed; you jump off the side of the boat where the engine is.”

The Alabama Police (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency – ALEA) has denied the correlation between the incidents and the platform. In a post on Twitter, he explained that “The Marine Patrol Division of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has not had a record of boating deaths in Alabama that could be directly related to TikTok or a trend on TikTok”.

Social proof can be dangerous

Not only that, but Dennis also explained that his statements were extrapolated from an interview to promote safety on boats. “I know there’s a challenge on TikTok, but I also know that jumping off a moving boat is nothing new,” he added.

On the platform, there are videos of users jumping into the wakes of boats with the hashtag #boatjumping, although after the news of the accidents, some accounts preferred to delete them from their profiles. This is nothing new; over the years, TikTok has triggered challenges that oscillate between extreme and dangerous fashions.

In February, users began to get temporary scars on their faces. Some have remained. The French hashtag scar has reached 549,000 views, the videos showing how to make them 3 million. But that’s not all; some lie down on the rails, pour alcohol into their eyes, or jump into the swimming pools from balconies, known as balconing.

Because it’s dangerous to jump off the boat

As Dennis explains, whether it’s a TikTok challenge or not, jumping off a moving boat is “extremely dangerous.” The challenge’s main problem is simple: you cannot control the landing position. Also, even the water moves, making jumping even more difficult and dangerous.

On the one hand, the impact is unpredictable; on the other hand, the high speed at which the boat travels, combined with the wake of water generated by the engine, creates a dangerous landing pad that looks similar to concrete. “If an individual jumps from a moving boat without protecting his neck and head, he could be permanently paralyzed. Otherwise, he could suffer instantaneous death,” adds Dennis.

“Water is the hardest surface known to man. We cut diamonds and steel with water,” he said. “When you move at a high speed and hit the surface the wrong way, it’s like falling into a brick wall. if the impact is violent, I call to break it”.

User comments

On TikTok, users are already criticizing the challenge; under the videos with the hashtag #boatjumping or #tiktotkboat, some say: ” It’s not fun; the challenge is dangerous “. Another user replied, “It’s no fun if you risk breaking your neck,” again below: “It’s dangerous. I live in Alabama, and four people have died doing this challenge in the last six months. They broke their necks and died instantly.”


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