August 22, 2018 6:42 pm
Updated: August 5, 2019 3:10 pm

Dramatic video of cliff divers near Squamish raises safety concerns

More than a dozen people have been injured cliff diving in Lynn Canyon this year. Ted Chernecki explains why, once again, social media is posing a new challenge for rescuers.

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A spectacular viral video filmed at Mamquam Falls near Squamish is raising concerns about copycats trying to re-create some very dangerous stunts.

This past weekend, some highly-skilled divers were recorded via drone performing jumps into the Mamquam River’s pristine waters.

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No one was injured in the stunt, but there are concerns that others looking to make such daring jumps may not be so lucky.

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“People see these YouTube videos and you see just the spectacular part,” said John Willcox with Squamish Search and Rescue. “One has to be responsible for themselves when they go to these different areas, just like any other activity, and research it and get the proper training.”

District of North Vancouver Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson agrees that social media can give users a “peripheral knowledge of the area,” making a location or activity look attractive while not properly highlighting the associated risks.

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“People who have the local knowledge tend to have a greater level of awareness and aren’t being drawn in by social media,” he said.

In the case of the Squamish jumpers, kayakers were on the scene in case anyone got into trouble. Before the stunt, organizers spent weeks monitoring water levels.

Lynn Canyon on the North Shore has long been a popular spot for cliff-jumping. The danger is obvious, but there are still plenty of warning signs posted throughout the area.

READ MORE: North Vancouver fire crews spend long weekend rescuing hikers, cliff jumpers

Fifteen people have been injured after jumping into the river this year. Over the past 24 years, there have been 30 deaths in the canyon, according to Hutchinson.

Rescue crews are re-stating their warnings about the risk and reminding would-be jumpers that rescue operations can put first responders in danger.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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