The man, 30, and holding a Russian passport, was rescued after an hour and was sent to hospital with ‘slight symptoms of hypothermia’
A bungee jumper at the Macau Tower entertainment complex was left dangling in mid-air for an hour yesterday, as the temperature dropped to about 8 degrees Celsius and a light drizzle enveloped the city.
The man, 30, and holding a Russian passport, had jumped from a platform 233 metres above ground and found himself trapped at “50 to 60 metres” above ground, according to the deputy chief of Macau’s Fire Services Department, Kong Iat-fu.
He was rescued by firefighters and was conscious, though with “slight symptoms of hypothermia”, Kong said. He was accompanied by a friend when an ambulance took him to hospital.
It is not known why the man was trapped on the ride but, according to the Macau Tower website, jumpers are supposed to slow down about 30 metres from the ground and then rebound.
In a statement, the Macau Tower said the man had finished his jump and was being lowered to the ground when the accident took place.
It also said a preliminary investigation by AJ Hackett, the jump’s operator, found that the man had been left suspended due to the activation a safety system. The cold weather may have triggered the system, it said, adding that the AJ Hackett team was still investigating the incident.
Kong said 34 firefighters, medical staff and operations commanders rushed to the scene in eight firefighting trucks after authorities were alerted at about 2.40pm.
Two firefighters used a 70-metre aerial ladder to reach the man while a few others waited at the Adventure Deck – where the platform is located – to conduct the hour-long rescue, Kong said.
The attraction is the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, according to Guinness World Records. It costs HK$3,488 per person for the first jump and HK$1,288 for the second.
According to Macau Tower’s official webpage, AJ Hackett developed a “second generation bungee cord” for the programme, which is “larger at the top than the bottom and allows jumper weights to be evenly dispersed over the entire length of the cord when jumping from such a height”. There is also a “guide cables system” to protect jumpers from making contact with the tower.
The Macau Tower is 338 meters tall and said to be inspired by the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. It has been an iconic landmark since its inauguration in December 2001.