More people slipping off high edges at popular dive spot in Snohomish County
INDEX, Wash. -- With the temperatures rising, so do the dangers on the water.
On Thursday, a new warning about a popular spot known as Eagle Falls in Snohomish County.
The problem at Eagle Falls is on the upper trails where people are slipping off the edges, tumbling down steep, rocky slopes.
Index firefighters say the injuries are happening earlier in the season and they have had to perform two complicated rescues already this year.
“They come here for adrenaline and fun,” mom Kendal Chesley said.
Like Chesley’s daughter Sydnie, who made a 20-foot jump off the cliff.
Index Fire Chief Ernie Walters urged visitors to stay off the high edges of Eagle Falls.
He says he wants people to visit the area but do it safely.
“It’s a very dangerous spot; we have people going off even further out in the rock face,” Walters said.
Shortly after Walters walked us around, showing us the dangers, Q13 News witnessed this close call nearby.
At 30 feet high, a young man getting ready to jump into the water lost his footing, almost hitting his head on the rocks below.
“My shoe got caught on the branch up there and I slipped; I tried to grab a rock and, when I realized I couldn’t, I pushed myself off so I wouldn’t hit a rock on my head,” said the man.
He may have managed to swim to safety on Thursday but two others so far this year were not so lucky.
“We had a spinal injury; the other one was a broken ankle. "
Those two people fell from a spot on the upper trail of Eagle Falls, tumbling down to the rocks below. In both cases firefighters had to rappel down the cliff side with a stretcher and haul the patients up vertically.
They also give a patient a rope in case the stretcher system fails.
“It’s not a quick system to set up,” Walters said.
It’s a rescue move they almost never have to use, but this year is different.
“It might have to be closed if we keep getting injuries,” Walters said.
Firefighters say closing off the upper trails would be a last resort.
“It would take a lot of effort to try to enforce it,” Walters said.
It would be hard to enforce a barrier but firefighters also don’t want to spoil the fun.
After witnessing the close call, Chesley said she is now going to think twice about letting her daughter jump into the water from the top.