A 17-year old Dutch girl named Vera Mol died when she jumped from a viaduct on a highway in Cantabria, Spain as part of a group trip organised by a local adventure sports company Aqua 21 Adventura.
A Spanish bungee jumping instructor’s “poor English” contributed to her death. The girl had misunderstood an instruction from the instructor to “No jump” as “Now jump”, when he in fact intended to say “don’t jump”, the judge wrote in the ruling reported by EuropaPress.
According to the judge: “The use of the poor English ‘No jump’ could perfectly well be understood as an explicit order to jump by the victim.”
The director of the Spanish sports company will now face prosecution for homicide through negligence, after appealing a court ruling last year. The appeal had argued that the teenager had jumped before she was told to.
The judge also said that the Spanish bungee jumping instructor’s level of English was not sufficient to be guiding foreigners in “something as delicate as jumping into the void from an elevated point”.
The court also said that the teenager had not been attached to any kind of safety line for the ascent, and was underage – the instructor “did not bother himself” to check for parental consent.