On Sunday afternoon, a Florida man jumped from Looking Glass Falls pictured here. He was not suicidal. In fact, his family stated he had jumped from many waterfalls before. Jumping off waterfalls into the pools below was his exciting hobby. While his family watched, the man climbed to the top of the falls and jumped off the 70-foot-high falls into the pool below. At high water levels, the pool is only six feet deep and is more shallow now due to the drought. It is unclear as to whether he managed to jump further than the rocks before he hit the water. He was severely injured, transported via helicopter to a major medical center where he soon died.
I'm not certain why I feel compelled to share this story. While I do indeed feel sorry for the grieving family members, there is a part of me that is very angry with this man. There are thousands of people in harm's way through no fault of their own. And yet this man put himself squarely in harm's way for the thrill of it.
-----I'm not happy that so many man hours were required to secure him for transfer. I am not happy that rescuers lives were put in danger. I'm not happy that the transport was tied up for so long when it might have been needed elsewhere. I'm not happy that the emergency department of the hospital was tied up, that the surgeons and support staff were taken from other duties to assist the man who gave little thought to the danger he posed to himself and others.
-----What a traumatic vision for his family and for others who were visiting the falls. No one egotistical person should be able to adversely affect the Labor Day Weekend of so many others. Perhaps I will be more compassionate later, but my anger with the stupidity of something so unnecessary is still clouding my vision.
UPDATE NOTE: The man's blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.29, three times the level for conviction of drunken driving in North Carolina.