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Over the weekend, many cliff jumping rescues occurred in southern Utah



Washington County, Utah — One man shattered both of his ankles on Saturday afternoon after jumping off Toquerville Falls, and another man broke one ankle.

“They start stabilizing them, putting splints on their ankles and on their lower legs, and then we figure out how we’re going to extract them out because that road is difficult,” said Sgt. Darrell Cashin, the search and rescue liaison with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “It is bumpy; it can create extra pain for people when you’re taking them out.”

Cashin claims that every year, people injure themselves while jumping down waterfalls, despite the authorities’ continuous warnings.

“You don’t know what’s underneath that water,” he said. “Gunlock Falls has a really huge boulder right underneath the water you cannot see until you hit it, which has caused some significant injuries and even death in the past.”

The Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team responded to four cliff-jumping occurrences in the North Fork of Mill Creek last week in southeast Utah.

“This, I would argue, is definitely not a risk that people would like to take,” said Jennifer Jones, the assistant field manager for recreation with the Bureau of Land Management’s Moab field office. “You can certainly cool down and enjoy the water while not jumping from the top of the waterfall itself.”

The Bureau of Land Management posted numerous signs cautioning visitors not to leap a few years ago.

“Grand County has a trail ambassador program, and during those busy visitation times, there are one or two trail ambassadors at the trailhead, that when they visit with folks about leave no trace, responsible recreation,” said Jones. “BLM also has park rangers that are in the area frequently.”

According to Cashin, saving these persons whose injuries may have been avoided places a burden on resources.

“It takes a lot of effort to come and get you, but we’re always willing to do it,” he said.


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