Insta-famous Bali swing operators asked to present permits after French tourist’s death

A Bali swing, a popular photo-op for tourists. Photo: Artem Bali/Pexels
A Bali swing, a popular photo-op for tourists. Photo: Artem Bali/Pexels

Swings soaring over the rice paddies and lush jungle backdrops in Bali have quickly become Instagram-feed famous but the death of a French tourist at a swing last week has prompted local government officials to make sure swing operators are complying with safety standards and have their licenses in order.

The Gianyar Regency government is urging operators to ready their permits.

Swing photo-ops have mainly popped up in Bali’s Gianyar regency, home to the striking Tegallalang rice terraces.

“All operators must immediately take care of their swing tour activity permits, by completing various requirements,” Gianyar Regency secretary, Made Gede Wisnu Wijaya, told Bali Post on Tuesday.

According to Wijaya, swing “tours” are coming up quickly in Gianyar, but not all places offering the swing rides have the appropriate government permits.

“Therefore the government will soon conduct a swing data collection tour,” Wijaya explained.

The Gianyar secretary’s office has also issued a letter temporarily suspending swing tours because of last week’s death.

“Yes, we ask them to be suspended, before fulfilling a number of requirements.”

Gianyar Police Criminal Investigation Unit Chief Insp. Deny Septiawan said that police have launched an investigation resulting from French tourist Patrick Jean Pierre Bouchard’s death.

“There are about five witnesses that have been examined, including the owner of the swing tour,” Septiawan said.

The 52-year-old Frenchman died after falling from a swing in Cekingan, Tegallalang on July 25. Bouchard reportedly fell down a 15-meter-high ravine.

He had been visiting the attraction with his family.

It’s understood that Bouchard’s hand got caught on the swing when he was trying to push his son who was seated on it. The swing sent him flying down into the ravine when he did not release the rope, according to a report by Tribun Bali.

At the bottom of the ravine, Bouchard was found unconscious, with his mouth bleeding.

Bouchard was sent to Arisanti Hospital in Ubud, but declared dead while receiving medical care.

Tegallalang Police Chief Gede Sukadana told Sindo News that in addition to suffering from bleeding out his mouth, Bouchard also had chest fractures and severe head injuries. The Frenchman’s body was eventually transferred to the morgue at Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar.

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