Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Survive a Trip Over a Waterfall
Photo by Mark Skipper
With the weather getting colder, the time for jumping into a deep, refreshing lake (possibly off a small cliff and/or waterfall) has long since passed.
So chances are, if you're about to take a plunge off a waterfall these days, it's accidental. Or you're at some exotic location on vacation. If that's the case, why didn't you bring me? Jerk.
Anyhow, it's best to be prepared. So here's how you survive a trip over a waterfall, thanks to the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht.
How to Survive a Trip Over a Waterfall
1. TAKE A DEEP BREATH JUST BEFORE GOING OVER THE EDGE: You probably will not have much control while you are in the air, and the water may be deep.
2. GO OVER THE FALLS FEET FIRST: The biggest danger in going over a falls is hitting your head on something underwater and being knocked unconscious. Even feet first there is a risk of broken limbs. Squeeze your feet together and remain vertical.
3. JUMP OUT AND AWAY FROM THE EDGE OF THE FALLS JUST BEFORE YOU GO OVER: You want to avoid hitting rocks directly at the bottom of the falls.
4. PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND YOUR HEAD TO PROTECT IT.
5. START SWIMMING IMMEDIATELY UPON HITTING THE WATER, EVEN BEFORE YOU SURFACE. Swimming will slow your descent.
6. SWIM DOWNSTREAM, AWAY FROM THE FALLS. It is essential that you avoid being trapped behind the waterfall or on the rocks underneath.
ERIC SMITH is the cofounder of Geekadelphia, a popular blog covering all-that-is-geek in the City of Brotherly Love, as well as the Philadelphia Geek Awards, an annual awards show held at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, and Philly.com