More jumping agony

A 25-YEAR-OLD man was injured when he slipped and fell about five metres onto rocks at Blackwall Reach in Bicton last week.

There has been two deaths over the last two years at the popular cliff-jumping spot.

Local Les Emery was walking with his wife on Sunday evening when he saw a young woman leading paramedics into the cliff area where her male friend had fallen.

“Apparently they were jumping from the rocks into the water, when he lost his footing,” says Mr Emery.

“As well as the paramedics, the police and emergency services arrived, however the rescue was finally done by taking the injured man off the rocks via police boat, which was pretty difficult given the location.

“He was taken to the jetty at Bicton Baths where an ambulance was waiting.”

At the time of going to print, the man was in a stable condition.

“Given the warning signs and previous fatalities there, I do wonder why people keep doing this,” says Mr Emery.

“A very dangerous thing to do because as well as falling, they also risk hitting one of the submerged rocks.”

• A 25-year-old man was taken to hospital after falling onto rocks at Blackwall Reach last week. Photo by Les Emery

But taking the plunge continues to be a popular activity amongst Perth youths.

Scarborough’s Lennon Matthews-Rowell says he used to jump all the time as a kid.

“Honestly, I believe someone falling off and dying is just as likely as someone drowning at the beach,” says the 26-year-old.

“We’re talking a height of maybe five to six metres so it’s not that dangerous in my opinion. I don’t jump these days because I’m too busy, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

“I honestly think you have more chance hurting yourself going out in Northbridge than on the cliffs.”

Salter Point resident Kathleen Bathgate, 22, says she has jumped, but wouldn’t have if she knew people had died trying.

“I jumped, I guess, to prove to myself that I could do it,” she says. “I was under the impression it was relatively safe and at the time it was super fun. I definitely climbed back up and did it several times.”

Luseni Traore, 18, died after cliff jumping in November last year and Taiwanese tourist Eddie Chiang, 31, died in January last year.

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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