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Woman hits boulder face-first after being swept over 60-foot waterfall, Utah rescuers say

How to stay safe around waterfalls

Leigh Ann Angle, park ranger, gives tips about hiking at South Mountains State Park.
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Leigh Ann Angle, park ranger, gives tips about hiking at South Mountains State Park.

A 20-year-old woman relaxing by a waterfall Monday at Gunlock Reservoir in Utah slipped on moss and plunged into the current heading over the falls, KTVX reported.

Swept over the waterfall, she fell 60 feet face-first onto a boulder, according to the station.

The woman, who suffered head and leg injuries in the 12:30 p.m. accident, was airlifted to a hospital, where she’s listed in stable condition, KUTV reported.

A bystander with military emergency medical training revived the woman with CPR, said Darrell Cashin with Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, KTVX reported. Cashin said he has “no doubt” the bystander saved her life.

Gunlock State Park in southwest Utah is 15 miles northwest of St. George and features a 266-acre reservoir for boating, fishing and swimming, according to the state parks system.

A wet winter has produced “very impressive” waterfalls at the lake, according to a March post on Facebook by Utah State Parks.

“The water is fast. It is swift,” Cashin said, KTVX reported. “You know you look at it and it’s only shin or knee-deep, but that’ll take you clean off your feet.”

On June 1, searchers found the body of a 36-year-old Utah man who had jumped off a waterfall into the water at Gunlock Reservoir a day earlier, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“These areas are very beautiful but they can be very dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken,” said Devan Chavez of Utah State Parks, St. George News reported. “Enjoy the outdoors, but please remember to stay safe.”

California Highway Patrol released a video from August 2017 showing a woman injuring herself in a backflip over Traverse Waterfalls in Placerville to call attention to safety around Sacramento area rivers.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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