Several media outlets now report that the “boat jump” TikTok challenge is fake and never happened. The original story, published broadly on reputable news outlets, stated that four people had died in Alabama while attempting the viral social media challenge. The objective of this alleged challenge was to jump from a speeding boat while doing poses and stunts and filming the entire situation.
“Last six months we have had four drownings that were easily avoidable,” Jim Dennis, captain of the Childersburg Rescue Team, told the local ABC affiliate station in Birmingham, Alabama, in a story that aired July 3. “They were doing a TikTok challenge.”
The exact words that Jim Dennis used in the above quote are not being disputed. However, Alabama’s main public health and safety agency said that those deaths did not happen and no TikTok challenge was involved. They also say that although some people died on the water, the deaths were spread out over a longer period, and TikTok was not mentioned in any paperwork related to their deaths. A TikTok spokesperson also denies that any such challenge was “trending” on their platform.
FACT FOCUS: A story about a deadly TikTok boat-jumping challenge went viral. Then it fell apart | AP News
Trending TikTok boat jumping challenge kills at least 4 in Alabama – ABC7 Los Angeles
A story about a deadly TikTok boat-jumping challenge went viral. Then it fell apart | The Star
‘Boat Jumping Challenge’ Cannot Be Attributed to Social Media, Officials Say
FACT FOCUS: A story about a deadly TikTok boat-jumping challenge went viral. Then it fell apart – ABC News
No deaths in Alabama due to TikTok boat jumping trend