Man, Boy Get Stuck on Zip Line High Over Pool of Hungry Alligators
“You really think you’re having a bad day? Let me show you what a bad day looks like.”
That is how amateur videographer T.J. Mills introduced his video of a situation, which is funny now—but could have ended with two people being eaten alive.
Mills was visiting Gatorland, in Orlando, Florida, an attraction which—surprise—features more than 2,000 American alligators living in the 110 acres of swamps, pools, and stream tharmake up the park.
Gatorland bills itself as the “Alligator Capital of the World,” home of the “Screamin’ Gator Zip Line,” a combined 1,200-foot aerial adventure ride where guests can sail above not just alligators but also Cuban and Nile crocodiles.
According the park’s website, Gatorland’s zip line was voted “Best Zip Line in the USA” by AOL Travel. But even the best can have a bad day.
Just ask the man and boy in T.J. Mills’s video, shot on Saturday, July 7. The pair got stuck halfway across the water, and were left dangling 40 feet in the air while giant alligators swam back and forth below them.
The story had a happy ending. A Gatorland employee used a special hand-cranked wheel to cross the zip line to reach the trapped pair. Then he cranked them back to one of the zip line towers.
In the end, it was all just a little bit of added excitement—for most of the guests. No word on what the dangling man and boy thought about being suspended over the gator pit.
No one asked the two if they had seen another of Gatorland’s famous attractions, the “Gator Jumparoo,” where park staff dangles chickens off an elevated platform to show how high an alligator will leap for a meal.
The two adventurous guests were never in any danger. Gatorland is prepared for zip line mishaps.
Gatorland’s zip line Manager Nick Cahippina told WESH that gusts of wind can jam the zip lines—as happened on this occasion—and that it usually takes 10–15 minutes to crank the dangling guest back to the tower.
In this case the rescue took almost twice as long because the combined weight of the man and child put more pressure on the jammed wheel.
Even so, after 25 minutes both guests were back on a solid surface and ready to enjoy the rest of the park’s amenities.
Gatorland released a statement about the incident, Fox News reported.
“”On Saturday July 7th, the zipline experience at Gatorland stopped midway with a father and child aboard during one of the scheduled rides.
“This was due to the gravity breaking system (sic) that stopped the two riders just short of the landing tower. This happens from time to time based on the weight of the riders and the direction of the wind.
“At no time was anyone in danger.
“Our zipline staff is highly trained to handle a variety of possible situations. A zipline staffer on the receiving tower immediately hooked himself on the line and retrieved the two people by pulling them to the landing area.”
Why is Falun Gong Persecuted?
Although it’s freely practiced in over 70 countries, doing this in China can lead to unlawful arrest, imprisonment, torture, or even death.