Florida teen dies after falling from ropes course at camp

A 16-year-old girl died on July 13 after falling from a rope swing at a youth camp in North Carolina.

The teenager from Lakeland, Florida, fell more than 100 feet from a large pendulum swing that she had been riding with two other camp participants. The swing consisted of a door-frame-shaped structure in which up to three participants could hang by ropes, secured with harnesses. Two camp staff members were supervising when the teenager suddenly became detached from the swing and fell to her death.

The deceased was assigned to a group of teenagers participating in the “Freebird” event at the Carolina Point Camp located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. The camp offers zip lining activities and ropes courses.

The camp is operated by Young Life, a Christian organization that hosts sessions for high school students. A Young Life spokesperson said that the camp’s rides adhere to “strict protocols regarding upkeep of equipment as well as safety training and operating procedures.”

South Carolina Department of Labor officials said the Freebird swing and six zip lines at the camp did not have permits. Inspectors said camp operators should have applied for an amusement device permit before it began operations.
All swings at the organization’s camps are closed while authorities try to determine the cause of the accident and inspect all the equipment. Preliminary investigations indicate that the teenager’s fall was an accident.

Investigators said that there were no mechanical or structural problems on the swing. According to the Pickens County sheriff, the harness that held the deceased was not attached to the swing when it was retracted from the passenger loading platform.

State authorities are now further investigating the case.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.