News

You Won't Envy This Father and Son Who Got Trapped on a Zip Line Over an Alligator Pit

Zip lining, though exhilarating and fun for the whole family, can totally suck when you're suspended 40 feet above a pool of big and potentially snapping alligators. Especially so when you're a dad with a small child strapped to your person. 

This is exactly what happened to a father and son at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida when they decided to partake in one of the park's attractions: a zip line that hangs over an alligator pit. The man and young boy simply stopped zipping and started stalling. Footage of their ordeal was filmed by a straphanger and obtained by local newsman Stewart Moore of broadcast station WESH News. Moore posted the video (shown above) to Facebook Saturday.

In it, a man filming the scene says:

“You really think you’re having a bad day? Lemme show you what a bad day looks like." 

Additional video obtained by Moore showed the duo being reeled back to safety, but still somewhat struggling to heave themselves clear of harm's way. 

Gatorland issued a statement to the New York Post about the incident, noting that it was really more of a snafu than a disaster, despite the very large, prehistoric animals conceivably awaiting the arrival of vulnerable human sinew below. Still, the father and child were hanging above the pit for 20 to 25 minutes, according to local reports. 
 

“This was due to the gravity breaking system 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," the statement read. 

The statement further expressed that Gatorland staff is more than equipped to deal with such situations: "Our zipline staff is highly trained to handle a variety of possible situations. A zip line staffer on the receiving tower immediately hooked himself on the line and retrieved the two people by pulling them to the landing area.”

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
 
Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.