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January 19, 2018

Cliff Jumping Deaths Of 2017

Photo Credit Patrick Giannaccini

Education about water safety is the best way to prevent loss of life. Learn from the situations of the past to protect your future. 

April 26th, Santa Cruz California, Alejandro Lopez, 19

Alejandro Lopez was jumping off a coastal cliff at a popular surfing spot in Santa Cruz California when he did not resurface after a jump. Witnesses attempted to rescue but had to call rescue squads in. The teen was brought to a local hospital but sadly passed away on May 8th, 2017.

June 18th, Dezayas Smith, 27 – 7:30, Tennessee

Dezayas Smith was in Knoxville at Fort Dickerson Quarry when he leapt from a 50′-60’ cliff into the water. He did not resurface after jumping. After an extensive search he was found 165’ below the surface. The city of Knoxville plans to make significant updates to the park and quarry over the next 4 years.

June 21st, Fabian Celes, 15 – 3:15, Texas

A 15 year old boy Fabian Celes was spotted jumping from a small cliff on Canyon Lake before disappearing below the water. It took several hours to recover the boys body.

June 25th, Joshua Reid, 39 –  Sunday, 3:45, Texas

Just West of Austin a man died jumping from cliffs surrounding a 35’ waterfall on Lake Buchanan in Texas. 39 year old, Joshua Reid of Burnet County was on an outing with friends while jumping from the cliffs. Friends and bystanders who saw what happened say Joshua resurfaced only for a second after jumping. He went under and he wasn’t able to be recovered for two hours. Rescue workers found him in 10 – 12 feet of water under where he had leapt.   

July 3rd, Monday, Matthew Miller, 31 – 1:00, New York

Matthew Miller was with his fiance and a small group of people camping at High Falls in Northern New York in the Adirondacks. The group had decided the waters were too high for the first two days of their stay. On the third day Matthew Miller jumped from the falls into the rushing waters. He never resurfaced. The intense waters coming over the falls kept him under. Rescuers spent 24 hours searching for his body.

July 8th, Mason Thompkins, 18 – Saturday, 2:00, Alabama

Mason Thompkins was at High Falls in Alabama when he jumped from a large rock into the water. Mason surfaced quickly and disappeared beneath the water. Rescue squads were called after bystanders were unsuccessful. 

July 10th, Trey Austin Dagwan Cardoza, 17 – 3:45, Florida

A teenager who dove into an inactive lime rock quarry on the afternoon of Monday July 10 passed away. When authorities arrived at Ocala rock quarry the boy was unresponsive. The teen passed away the following day in a local hospital.

July 28th, Female 22 – Friday, BC

A 22 year old Jamaican National female jumped from Moyie Falls and was swept under by the current. Her friends tried to help when she showed struggle but were unable to recover her.

August 2nd, Wednesday, James Cummings, 27 –  3:00, Arizona

James Cummings was with a group of friends that had rented a pontoon boat and for a camping trip at Green Mountain Reservoir. They were diving from cliffs in the area that are very popular when a James Cummings leapt from a high cliff. He never resurfaced. His friends and onlookers immediately attempted a rescue but were unsuccessful.  It took hours for rescue crews to locate him in the 70’ deep waters.

August 5th, O’ahu, Gino Caspillan, 38 – Saturday, 1:00

Gino Caspillan and his friends had gone cliff jumping for the day at Laie Point. The man leapt from the cliff into turbulent water with heavy winds blowing. He resurfaced and attempted to climb the cliffs out. He wasn’t able to get out of the water. He was recovered by local rescue and brought to shore. CPR was administered and he was brought to a local hospital where he died a few hours later.

August 11th, Saturday, Christopher Brown, 28 –  3:10, Oregon

Christopher Brown climbed to the top of Dinosaur Rock on the Prineville Reservoir and jumped over 100’ to the water below. He did not resurface. Local authorities were called and needed to call search and rescue to locate his body. His body was found submerged below 65 feet of water.

August 13th, Erick Kallestewa, 25 – 4:43, Monday, Arizona

Erick Kallestewa jumped from a spot called Anchovy Point on Lake Powell. The point is on the Arizona/Utah border and is around 30’. After resurfacing Erick had trouble swimming against the winds and rough waters. He wasn’t able to make it back to shore. It took over 24 hours to locate him in the 170’ deep water in this area of Lake Powell.

August 25th, Will Schlotec, 15 – 4:30, Saturday, Minnesota

A teenage boy was with a group of friends at the popular area known as “The Deeps” in Minnesota when he leapt from a 27’ cliff and did not resurface. The teens death struck the community as a great blow. This location has been a popular swimming destination for several decades. If you’d like to support his family this is a link to a GoFundMe Page set up by friends of the family.  GoFundMe page

September 3rd, Saige Bradbury, 24 – 2:00, New Hampshire

Saige Bradbury was out with friends jumping the cliffs at Livermore Falls in new Hampshire. He attempted to jump from a 70’ cliff and did not reach the water cleanly. Saige Bradbury hit a rock ledge on the water’s edge and went into the water. It took several hours to locate his body. This area is known for the narrow landing areas where people jump.

September 18th, Jeremy Fields, 23 – 3:30, Tennessee

Jeremy Fields was at Fort Dickerson Quarry in Tennessee when he leapt from a cliff and did not resurface. This was the second death at this Knoxville quarry in 2017. The city plans to implement new practices to make the area safer.

September 21st, Charles Kennedy, 38 – 5:00, New York

Charles Kennedy died on Sacandaga Lake while jumping into Brooks Bay. He reportedly jumped into shallow waters and was seen face down by passing by witnesses. It took several hours for authorities to recover his body.


We as a community need to do everything we can to prevent deaths among our own. Spreading safety information is a crucial aspect of this. There are many things cliff jumpers should be aware of before jumping. Please help spread safety knowledge and awareness with helpful articles like this one..Cliff Jumping Safety

#StaySafeStaySendy #SafetyFirst #ComeHomeAlive