A six-month-old boy has broken the world record for the youngest person to water ski after being filmed zooming around a lake in Utah by his parents – who are now being accused of endangering their child by allowing him to try out the water sport.
Pint-sized daredevil Rich Humpherys has become an accidental online star after a video of him gliding across Lake Powell was posted by his mom Mindi, 33, and dad Casey, 36, on Instagram, where it quickly went viral.
Aged just six months and four days, Rich’s water skiing session saw him beat the world record by 23 days. However, while his triumph has been applauded by some, others have hit out at his mom and dad, accusing them of putting their son in danger in order to achieve online fame.
Controversy: Rich Humpherys broke the world record for the youngest person to ever water ski at the age of six months – however the stunt has sparked outrage on social media
Little daredevil! The youngster’s parents Casey, 36, and Mindi, 33, shared videos of their son water skiing on Instagram, where they quickly went viral, however not everyone was excited
Upset: Some Instagram users accused the Utah couple of ‘endangering’ their son with the stunt, and others warned that water skiing could cause permanent damage to his limbs
In the clip, baby Rich can be seen wearing a lifejacket while standing atop a ski trainer – a wooden board with two long ski-like sections – with his feet strapped to the equipment and his little hands holding onto a safety bar in front of him.
The youngster is being pulled along by a boat that is out of the shot, while his dad Casey rides alongside him in another vessel, cheering Rich on as he makes his way across the water.
Uploading the video onto the youngster’s Instagram page, Rich’s mother, Mindi wrote: ‘I went water skiing for my 6 month birthday. Apparently that’s a big deal…#worldrecord.’
Dad Casey also shared the clip, saying: ‘Six months four days. Take one look at this kid and tell me he isn’t having the time of his life! Such a little stud.’
However, the video has sparked outrage among some, who have hit out at Rich’s parents, slamming them for allowing the youngster to try out the water sport at such an early age – with some even insisting that the stunt could cause permanent damage to his limbs.
Up and at ’em! The Humpherys family regularly use their Instagram pages to document their outdoorsy adventures including horse riding and dirt biking
Debate: While some people praised baby Rich’s skills, others hit out at Casey and Mindi, accusing them of ‘child abuse’
‘I hope endangering your child is worth it for the clout!’ one person commented on Instagram.
‘His poor little joints aren’t even fully developed yet, that’s why he’s not walking yet. If he can’t walk, do you really think this kind of stress is good for his body? Also look up dry drowning. You are terrible parents.’
Another person chimed in: ‘Good way to catch child endangerment charges.’
Others accused Mindi and Casey of ‘child abuse’, while some branded the couple ‘reckless’ and ‘stupid’ in the comments.
Some even suggested that the parents had put their child in danger in order to gain fame online, with one branding them ‘self absorbed’ while another said: ‘This is what happens when people need attention and bring their newborn into it.’
Backlash: Dozens of people commented on the couple’s video to accuse them of ‘endangering’ their son, while others suggested they were using Rich to gain a following online
However, some were incredibly supportive of the couple and their brave young boy, who was praised for his ‘boss’-like attitude and impressive skills.
‘The fact that he doesn’t even looks fazed makes him even more of a boss,’ one person commented after the video was shared by Barstool Sports.
‘That is so awesome!!!!!!!!!! Love this!!!!’ another chimed in.
Before Rich’s world record attempt, the title was held by Zyla St Onge, who rode along Lake Silver in Florida in May 2016, aged six months and 27 days – making her 23 days older at the time than the Utah youngster.
The Humpherys family use their Instagram pages to document their adventures including horse riding, dirt biking and now, world record breaking water skiing.