LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fatal Waterfall Jump

There are several deaths in Transylvania County every year by people accidentally falling from one of the many waterfalls in the area. Usually the accidents occur when people try to wade in the water above the falls and slip on the rocks.

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.

10 comments:

MicheleRF said...

Tragic! Glad my hobby is nice fairly safe photography. I have done some less than safe things to get a pic but nothing akin to jumping off a waterfall.

Lynne said...

I agree whole-heartedly with you. I am especially angered by people who, for the sake of personal thrill, wind up putting rescue workers in great danger.

KGMom said...

Oh my, what a story. Your reaction is understandable. I have a similar one when I hear of mountain climbers who get caught in avalanches, and then the rescuers risk their lives to get to the climbers.
I too grieve for the family who witnessed this fatal fall.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Such a sad tragedy. Maybe he should have tested the waters first! I don't understand it either.

Shellmo said...

I'm with you! And what about the family members that didn't stop him?? What a terrible ending for a foolish act.

Kerri said...

What a tragic story! I can certainly understand your anger at this.

The Birdlady said...

Carolyn, I have had those same thoughts many times.....so much needless pain.

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Why people like the thrill of danger and then are surprised by the results is the question to ask. We take our chances but must pay the piper in the end.

EcoRover said...

Gorge-ous waterfall pics. Reminds me of my days along the green canyons of central New York State.

Corey said...

Too bad stupid isn't illegal! Then again, he would have had to be arrested for it BEFORE this incident for it to have mattered.