Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking the plunge

It is a common feature in films: the protagonist moves towards the edge of a huge waterfall, carried along, inch by inexorable inch, towards certain death in a swift flowing river from which there is no escape. For one professional kayaker this scenario is the stuff of dreams rather than nightmares.

Jesse Coombs deliberately took on the 96ft drop at the Abiqua Falls in Oregon. So confident was he of his ability to take the plunge that he took his friend and photographer along to capture the momentous moment on camera. He followed in the footsteps of Tim Gross who had attempted to kayak this fall once before.

According to The Sun the Abiqua Falls is known as a very difficult waterfall descent. When Gross attempted it he dislocated both knees due to a bad landing, nevertheless Coombs decided to take the plunge. Coombs successfully completed the jump but did not emerge entirely unscathed as he suffered a shoulder fracture and collapsed lung.

After Coombs completed the jump world record holder Tyler Bradt took on the same falls. One could be forgiven for thinking that this was a rather fallish move as Bradt proved once more that you cannot attempt this jump without expecting injury (he broke his back but is now expected to make a full recovery.)

The entire fall took just three seconds (canoe imagine the exhilaration?!) but was captured gloriously on camera. (See The Sun website for more pictures)

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