A recent spate of zip line deaths has renewed calls for a review of safety procedures and operational issues related to zip line recreation.
Yesterday a 55 year-old woman was killed from blunt force injuries sustained while zip lining in Sundance, Utah. This is just the latest in a long list of zip line incidents causing serious injury and death. Recently a 56 year-old woman was killed in Puerto Rico when the safety equipment failed while she was zip lining. Other tragedies include children who have fallen to their deaths while zip lining at camp.
These do not include the amateur and backyard zip lines created by many who see professional lines and attempt to re-create their own at home. Children are often the most creative with makeshift zip lines.
Zip lining is a popular sport, especially among tourists and vacationers. But it can have lethal consequences. Many of these violent crashes have been caught on video thanks to today’s social media consciousness.
There have been attempts to regulate the zip lining industry but most states have been unable to pass meaningful legislation. For vacationers trying this activity outside the country, there is even less oversight. Tourists must not rely on the safety of local businesses when it comes to an activity which has the potential to cause death and serious injury where only one thing goes wrong. If the tourist relies on a defective or poorly maintained piece of equipment, or ill-trained staff, or damaged zip line, or gets on the line in weather that should be avoided, there is literally no safety net to protect the unsuspecting victim.