At least four people have died in Alabama while trying to complete a dangerous social media dare in which people jump off moving boats and into the water.
Capt. Jim Dennis of the Childersburg Rescue Squad told NBC News that four people in the state have died after falling out of boats in the last six months.
Dennis said, “When the four people we helped jumped out of the boat, they broke their necks and, you know, pretty much died right away.”
People have been jumping out of moving boats on tape since 2020, but more people are trying the challenge now that it’s summer and they’re on the water.
Gail Kulp, the head of the Sea Tow Foundation, said, “You could end up with broken bones or a broken neck. You could also run into the propeller of your own boat, or another boat could run over you, which would cause a lot of damage or even kill you.”
The tweet below verifies the news:
Police say at least 4 people have died doing the TikTok boat jumping challenge
“When they jumped out of the boat, they literally broke their neck … instant death” pic.twitter.com/OKUPNXlGG0
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) July 9, 2023
Kulp, who works to teach boaters and stop recreational crashes on the water, said that the stunt is “really, really dangerous.”
“Hitting the water from a moving boat is like hitting concrete from jumping multiple stories up,” Kulp said.
Experts also said that wearing a life jacket while jumping out of a boat wouldn’t stop major injuries or death, and the only way to be safe is to not try the stunt.
In a statement to NBC News, TikTok said that it has added warnings to some of its videos that say, “If you do this, you or others could get hurt.”
“It’s not true to say or report that this is a TikTok challenge,” the company said in a statement. “We can’t say anything about something that isn’t a trend on our platform,” it added.
Other social media challenges have hurt people or even killed them. For example, during the “skull breaker challenge,” a TikToker said she had to get surgery because her friends kicked her out from under her as she stood in line with them, causing her to fall to the floor.
And in the “salt and ice challenge,” some people who put salt and ice directly on their skin said they got second-degree burns.
When asked about these challenges, TikTok pointed NBC News to its community rules, which say: “We do not allow showing or promoting dangerous activities and challenges… and telling If you see an activity or challenge that could be risky, take a moment to stop and think about it before you decide and act.”
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