At least 4 die in US after breaking necks while doing 'jump off the boat' TikTok challenge

Raul Dancel
The Straits Times
Jul 9, 2023

At least four people have died in Alabama, United States, after taking on another deadly TikTok challenge, which had them jumping off the rear of a fast-moving boat.

State officials said all four died instantly after they broke their necks.

The TikTok challenge has people jumping off the back of a high-speed boat, feet first. Some jump with their backs to the sea or lake, while others do backflips.

“(In the) last six months, we have had four drownings that were easily avoidable,” Captain Jim Dennis, of the Childersburg Rescue Squad in Alabama, told ABC News affiliate WPDE-TV.

“They were doing a TikTok challenge. The four that we responded to, when they jumped out of the boat, they broke their necks and… basically an instant death,” he said.

He added: “I think people, if they’re being filmed on camera, I think they’re more likely to do something stupid because they want to show off in front of their friends for social media.”

Capt Dennis said one incident happened in February. The man who died was middle-aged, and had his wife and three children with him, and his wife was filming him as he launched himself off the back of the boat.

WPDE-TV reported that the most recent incident occurred in May, again involving a middle-aged man.

The two others who died doing the TikTok challenge were also men, it reported.

There have been other deadly TikTok challenges in the past.

In May, a 16-year-old girl in France died attempting the viral “scarf game” – a variation of TikTok’s deadly “blackout challenge” that has already claimed several lives.

The dangerous pursuit involves fastening cloth around the neck to asphyxiate oneself until passing out for alleged Internet clout.

Unfortunately, as with the “blackout challenge”, this exploit can restrict the oxygen flow to the brain, causing seizures, serious injury and even death.

Two teens, meanwhile, have died after participating in the “Benadryl challenge”.

It sees people, usually children, swallow multiple antihistamine tablets to induce hallucinations before posting videos of their experiences.

The Straits Times

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