Rope Swing Adventure Ends In Tragedy
It's the world's largest rope swing, and the scariest. Daredevils plunge 140 feet off an arch, then swing wildly in the air.
Videos of extreme rope jumping like one shown on YouTube are fueling the popularity of this dangerous craze.
Who could forget the now-infamous video taken of the guy from Utah who pushed his terrified girlfriend into rope jumping?
It looks like fun—if that's your idea of fun. But, now, a similar stunt has ended in tragedy.
Former Marine Kyle Stocking was killed Sunday when he left too much slack on his rope and crashed into the base of the Corona Arch in Moab, Utah.
Thad James, a professional guide, says most non-professional jumpers have no idea that rope can stretch by as much as six feet during a jump. He says if he had been up on the arch that deadly day he would have been able to spot trouble
"Because this is dynamic rope, it stretches more than you think," said James. "I would have 100 percent saw that the rope was too long."
The arch is reached by hiking a mile-and-a-half up a trail along Majestic Rock. At the top of the arch five anchors are hammered into the rock and the rope becomes a giant pendulum.
Now, Kyle Stocking's parents are issuing a plea: "Think about your parents, your family, your friends before you do things like this because you might lose your life and it's going to absolutely devastate your family."
A sign warns thrill seekers about the risk of jumping. But without proper safety guidelines, this expert fears more tragedies lie ahead.
"It scares me because I know that people are going to fall and die again," said James.