ALEA disputes claim of deaths surrounding TikTok trend

Published 1:42 pm Monday, July 10, 2023

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On July 10, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) released a statement denying reports from a news outlet linking boating deaths to a TikTok trend.

An outlet in Central Alabama, released a news article on July 3 citing first responders in the state as being concerned about recent drownings that have occurred in the state in connection to a TikTok trend. The original report, claimed that four marine-related deaths had occurred in Alabama over the past six months related to a TikTok trend. On Monday, ALEA Sgt. Jeremy Burkett made a statement, denying these reports.

“The (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division does not have any record(s) of boating or marine-related fatalities in Alabama that can be directly linked to TikTok or a trend on TikTok,” Burkett emphasized. “One individual was fatally injured after jumping from a moving vessel in 2020 and a similar marine-related fatality occurred in 2021, however, both fatalities cannot be linked to TikTok.”

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TikTok is a social media app that is popular with young Americans and a number of “trends” have popped up in recent years that have led to young adults and teenagers doing dangerous stunts to post on the app.

Burkett and ALEA recently confirmed that the Fourth of July weekend saw fewer fatalities – both traffic fatalities and marine-related fatalities – than the past several years.