A ponytail stunt led to a death in India. Sailendra Nath Roy, the 49-year-old Guinness World Record holder for the stunt, died of a reported “massive heart attack” while trying to cross the Teesta river in West Bengal using only his hair to zip line the distance.
Roy had done this sort of stunt numerous times in the past, and even became the Guiness World Record holder for farthest distance traveled on a zip line using hair in March 2011. When he attempted to do so once again this time, he reportedly made it about 300 feet down the line before he stopped making any progress.
“He was desperately trying to move forward. He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying. After struggling for 30 minutes he became still,” photographer Balai Sutradhar tells BBC.
Roy was brought down after about 45 minutes, and doctors deemed he died of a heart attack. There had been no doctors or emergency services at the river when Roy was trying to cross it.
A friend tells BBC that Roy had planned for this Teesta river crossing to be his final ponytail stunt performance. “His wife used to urge him to quit doing dangerous stunts. Mr. Roy convinced her that crossing the Teesta river would be his last,” the insider says. Sadly it was, though not in the way Roy likely planned.