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Dangerous Gorge Jumping

It’s a tragic story we hear every summer, someone badly hurt or killed jumping into the gorges in Ithaca.

Gorge Jumping

July 16, 2012

Ithaca (WENY) - It's a tragic story we hear every summer, someone badly hurt or killed jumping into the gorges in Ithaca. First responders, and tax payers are also paying the price. Locals tell me it's about a 20 foot jump, and call it a popular starting point, but the 20 year old student hurt this weekend jumped from much higher. In ithaca, Jumping is as popular summertime activity.

“Hanging out with my friends its something that we all do together go for a swim and then maybe jump once or twice,” says one Jumper.

Spots like First Dam in Ithaca have become more popular for its beauty, for its thrill, but also for making Youtube videos. Jumpers say they have seen a spike in out of towners over the past 3 years.

“Everybody knows that its here and its just people are going to come and have fun and no matter what the law says people are going to do what they want,” says the anonymous jumper.

Ithaca fire chief Tom Parsons deals with rescues every summer.

“There are no designated swimming areas and it is illegal to be swimming. There should be no jumping into the gorges especially this time of year the water level is down its pretty dry,”

On Saturday, a 20 year old jumper had to be air lifted to Robert Packer Hospital with heads and facial injuries.

“If they do get hurt or injured it takes a lot out of the community safety pool to rescue them and it takes away people that may be needed in other places to provide safety and care.”

Chuck Baker, Cheif Operator for Water Treatment plant says jumping has been going on for decades and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon.

“People are younger they think their invincible, they like to do certain things we've all been there but the more we try to educate them the better of we are at avoiding one of those.”

There are gorge rangers that patrol jumping areas. If you are caught you can be charged for trespassing or for violating city rules.