A TikTok boat jumping challenge has led to four deaths in Alabama in the past six months, authorities say.
The dangerous manevoure involves people trying to jump or flip off the back of a speeding boat, only to break their necks and drown, according to first responders.
Jim Dennis, of Alabama’s Childersburg Rescue Squad, told WBMA that it had led to four “easily avoidable” drowning deaths in the state.
“That is a very big concern because we have seen this pattern emerge over the last two years and it’s sporadic, but it’s something that needs to go away and stay away,” Mr Dennis said.
In one instance in February, a father died while attempting the challenge with his wife and three young children on board the boat.
“Unfortunately, she recorded his death,” Mr Dennis said.
The most recent death came in mid-May, he said. All the fatalities were male, he added.
He urged family and friends to encourage their loved ones not to try the deadly challenge.
“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,” he told WPDE.
“Do not do it,” he said. “It’s not worth your life.”
TikTok, which claims to have 150 million users in the United States, has previously faced backlashes for promoting dangerous viral challenges.
One trend, known as the “Borg” challenge, involved drinking a combination of alcohol, electrolytes, caffeinated flavoring and water in a jug.
The cocktail was supposed to allow drinkers to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol, and stave off hangovers.
But it reportedly led to the hospitalisation of two dozen University of Massachusetts Amherst students due to binge-drinking.
Fears that TikTok’s owners ByteDance was sharing users’ private data with the Chinese government led the app to be banned on government devices in about half of US states.
Montana became the first state to declare an outright ban in May.
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