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TikTok boat jumping challenge story is false: Alabama police

Viral story of deadly TikTok boat jumping challenge is false: Alabama police
Source: Video Screenshot

There is a false claim going around about a TikTok boat jumping challenge in Alabama, reported. The leader of a rescue squad in Alabama, Capt. Jim Dennis from the Childersburg Rescue Squad, clarified that he doesn’t have any knowledge of anyone dying in the state due to this challenge.

False reports: Alabama State Police debunk viral story of dangerous TikTok boat jumping challenge

Despite what some reports have said, Dennis said his statements about four deaths in the past six months were actually taken out of context. He had mentioned those numbers while discussing the importance of boating safety, not specifically related to the TikTok challenge.

“We’ve had four drownings in the last six to eight months (that the Childersburg Rescue Squad worked) and some of those were just drownings,’’ Dennis said.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency issued the following statement regarding the issue on Monday.

“On Monday, July 3, a news story was shared regarding “first responders warning against a deadly boating TikTok trend after recent drownings” in Alabama.

However, please be advised the information released to the news outlet was incorrect. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division does not have any record(s) of boating or marine-related fatalities in Alabama that can be directly linked to TikTok or a trend on TikTok.

One individual was fatality injured after jumping from a moving vessel in 2020 and a similar marine-related fatality occurred in 2021, however, both fatalities cannot be linked to TikTok.”

Conflicting reports surround tragic boat deaths in Alabama, TikTok link uncertain

During one of the incidents that Capt. Jim Dennis and his rescue squad responded to, there was a tragic death where the victim had jumped off a moving boat. However, Capt. Dennis clarifies that he doesn’t have any information indicating that this particular incident was linked to a TikTok challenge.

Another person tragically lost their life after jumping off a boat. However, conflicting reports emerged regarding the boat’s motion at the time of the incident.

“It got blown way out of proportion,’’ Dennis said regarding the publicity. The story was even a topic of discussion Monday on the Today Show. “If there’s data supporting that (boat jumping deaths in Alabama), I don’t have that.”

“If we have a drowning, we may know unofficially what it is but to make an official statement, that would have to come from ALEA. Sometimes it’s a year or two before they get the final coroner’s report.”

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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