Cliff-Jumping Injuries Spike at Popular Waterfall

The National Park Service says cliff jumping in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has taken on epidemic proportions, with five injuries so far this year, including this past weekend.

All have been at waterfalls on Adams Creek, which two miles later empties into the Delaware River. That number compares to just three serious injuries in the past three years.

Since April, Ranger Kathleen Sandt says there have been multiple broken bones and two broken backs, most of which requires arduous rescue efforts in which some rangers themselves suffered minor injuries negotiating treacherous rock steps an stream crossings.

Tickets are being written almost every day, according to ranger Mike Macksoud, who was one of the rescuers injured in the latest rescue effort of a 27-year-old Milford, Pennsylvania man. 

Some of the dozens of young men and women who were trying to cliff jump Tuesday were aware of the prohibitions posted by the Park Service. But, as Doug Oakley of Freehold, New Jersey said, "It's, like, cool."

Park rangers disagree, and promise to keep writing tickets in what has become an urgent effort to save people from serious injury and even death.

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