Cliffs Claim Lives
The potentially fatal nature of cliff jumping is driven home every time there is a death in relation to this thrill seeking activity.
Being at the gorge with friends on any given outing can bring with it peer pressure and extreme risks. Remember, when faced with decisions to jump from a 12m (40’) high cliff, you’ll have to think twice. Jumping over the edge, hitting the water and simply never coming back up is a possibility.
Despite clearly posted signs warning people of the perilous waters below, many thrill-seekers tempt fate and jump anyway. Local officials stated, “The risk-taking behaviour of young people can cause them to do things they later regret. Unfortunately, it takes an incident like this to reinforce the very real dangers of cliff diving.”
AdventureSmart reminds you that cliff jumping is inherently dangerous due to:
- Unknown objects lurking below the surface of the water;
- Ever-changing water conditions and depths; and
- Slippery conditions climbing to the diving point.
Cliff jumping injuries are very common:
- Any jump from a height is traumatic to the body. As height increases, the risk for serious injury goes up substantially. At 3m (10’), your body is travelling at approximately 27km/h (17mph) when you hit the water. At 6m (20’), you’re going about 40km/h (25mph).
- Even if the water is deep and you go in feet first, your speed is great enough to cause spinal compression, bone fractures, concussion, or a collapsed lung. An awkward entry - landing even slightly off-center - can have a catastrophic result.