Home > News > ALEA refutes story of viral ‘boat-jumping challenge’ TikTok deaths, but warns not to jump off of boats

ALEA refutes story of viral ‘boat-jumping challenge’ TikTok deaths, but warns not to jump off of boats


The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has refuted claims made by a viral news story that linked a dangerous TikTok trend to multiple fatalities in the state. The trend, known as the “boat-jumping challenge,” involves individuals jumping off moving boats and, the viral story claims, has resulted in four deaths in Alabama.

The news report, which was widely circulated worldwide over the weekend, quoted Captain Jim Dennis of the Childersburg Rescue Squad, who expressed concern over the influence of social media on reckless behavior. “I think people, if they’re being filmed on camera, I think they’re more likely to do something stupid because they want to show off in front of their friends for social media,” Dennis was quoted as saying. Dennis said in that interview that four people in the state had died as a result of the Tik- Tok challenge.

However, in an email sent to media outlets on Monday, July 10, Sergeant Jeremy J. Burkett of ALEA clarified that the agency’s Marine Patrol Division has no records of boating or marine-related fatalities in Alabama that can be directly linked to TikTok or a trend on TikTok.

“While there were two fatalities in 2020 and 2021 involving individuals jumping from moving vessels, these incidents cannot be linked to TikTok,” Burkett wrote.


The contradiction between the viral news story and the official statement from ALEA highlights the importance of verifying information, particularly when it pertains to public safety. As the debate continues, both sides agree on one thing: the boat-jumping challenge is dangerous and should not be attempted.

For now, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is urging the public to exercise caution when boating and to refrain from participating in risky social media challenges that could lead to serious injury or death.

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