Another plunges from the Wailua

WAILUA FALLS – A 22-year-old man from California who fell 80 feet from the top

of Wailua Falls yesterday afternoon is in stable condition at Wilcox

Hospital.

The victim, whose name has not been released by police, is the

third man to fall from the falls within a 24-hour period.

On Monday

afternoon, two men, also 22 and from California, purposely jumped off the

falls, which resulted in leg injuries.

Eyewitnesses said the victim from

yesterday’s accident appeared to have head and shoulder injuries, but one

fireman said there were no bones broken.

Authorities would not say if the

three Californians knew each other. The fall yesterday does not appear to be a

copycat jump of Monday’s occurence.

In fact, eyewitnesses from the falls

overlook, some 50 feet away, said that the man’s fall was entirely accidental.

The man was with three others on the top of the falls when he tried to

jump across one of the channels in the river but lost his footing and

disappeared into the cascading water below, said Elizabeth and Jesse Creencia,

visitors from Auburn, Calif.

The man, holding a can of soda, had been

“goofing off” just before the accident, eyewitnesses said.

The three other

people vacated the scene, they said, possibly to go for help.

The man soon

emerged in the pool below, and slowly swam to the water’s edge said Bob and

Beth Cusick, visitors from New Jersey, N.J., who also saw the accident from the

overlook. He was whipping blood from his eye and holding his right shoulder,

said Beth Cusick, but was able to walk around the lower pool. The Cusicks added

that the shirt the man had been wearing had been ripped off in the

fall.

Inter-Island Helicopters assisted in the rescue by airlifting the man

from the river valley. As he was being carried out, he gave a ‘shaka’ sign to

the crowd gathered at the outlook to show he was OK. The two men from the

earlier jump are in stable condition at Wilcox.

According to the book,

Ultimate Kaua’i Guidebook, men jumped off the falls in ancient (and sometimes

modern) times to prove their manhood. The jump, the book says, often proved to

be fatal.

Local residents at the overlook said that even though there are

warning signs posted, something more needs to be done to prevent accidents like

this from happening.

“How many people have to die before they put a fence

up there?” said Po’ipu resident Sarah Fields who often goes to the falls

overlook to eat lunch.

“It’s ridiculous. Signs are there saying people

have died and that hasn’t stopped them from going up there.”

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