October 2, 2002
In an "amazing-but-true" incident Sunday, a man attempted to board a cruise ship by bungee jumping off a bridge as the vessel passed under it. The ship: Holland America's Veendam, which had departed that afternoon from Vancouver and was just passing under that city's dramatic Lions Gate bridge when a man, um, headed down to the ship's top outside deck. Alas, he miscalculated and wound up bouncing off the tennis court and a deck railing before dangling, mid-air, as the ship kept sailing. Ultimately, the man rappelled down to the water where he was rescued by a police boat -- and then arrested. Onboard Veendam the drama was a lot less riveting. "The bridge did not see him rappelling because we were well under the bridge before he got into view," reports spokesman Erik Elvejord. In fact, officers were unaware of the incident until harbor police phoned them some 15 minutes later. At that point, Elvejord says, "we hooked up with port police and sent the first officer and the chief engineer back to take a look." There was no damage to the ship though the failed bungee jumper suffered minor head injuries. He is under custody.