Vernon Search and Rescue said a Calgary man was left remarkably unscathed after he fell approximately 150 feet down a waterfall at Fintry Provincial Park north of Kelowna on Sunday.
Rescuers said the man, in his 30s, was taking a picture with his cellphone at the top of the falls when he dropped his phone.
Reaching for it, he tumbled down the face of the falls.
His friends and family called 911.
“On the way down he hit the rock face a couple of times which, ironically, may have saved him from further injury because it would slow his speed down, and he landed in a pool at the bottom of the waterfall,” said search manager Leigh Pearson .
North Westside Fire Department, Kelowna Fire Department, BC Ambulance Service, and Vernon Search and Rescue all responded and worked together to extricate the victim from his precarious position.
“We managed to get this guy out and he was remarkably uninjured, which was pretty amazing considering where he fell,” Pearson said.
The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association said on Facebook that this is the sixth incident involving a waterfall this summer in B.C.
“We rarely head out for an outdoor adventure with the expectation that something will go wrong, and, most times, everything will go right. However, that one time that the unexpected happens…the investment in trip safety can mean the difference between a successful outcome and becoming a statistic,” it said in the online post.
Pearson encourages the public to abide by signage and fencing in public parks.
“The problem that a lot of people don’t understand is because it’s near a waterfall, the rocks around them are usually wet and wet rocks are very slippery,” he said.
“These cases, almost all of them are fenced off. The one out at Fintry is, and the subjects have to literally climb over the fences to get in to where they can fall and fences are there for a reason. Yesterday’s incident kind of reinforces that.”
Pearson said snapping the perfect photo is not worth the risk. In this case, the camera didn’t make it out of the canyon.
On July 3 three video bloggers were killed after falling from one of the pools atop Shannon Falls, south of Squamish.
On July 16 a man died and another was injured after going over the lower falls at Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park.