Body of man who fatally jumped from cliffs at Green Mountain Reservoir recovered
A 27-year-old man was killed after diving from a cliff at Green Mountain Reservoir late Tuesday evening, a tragedy that illustrates the danger of jumping from the popular cliffs that routinely injure people every summer — often severely.
The man, part of a group that had rented pontoon boats and was camping in the area, dove into the water at around 4:43 p.m. and never resurfaced, according to a news release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
People with the diver immediately started looking for him but were unsuccessful, according to the release. By the evening, a boat with sonar was scouring the reservoir bottom.
Searchers found the man’s body in about 70 feet of water and pulled him out the following afternoon.
Summit County Coroner Regan Wood said an investigator has not yet determined the cause of death. She declined to release the man’s name out of respect for his family but said he was originally from Oklahoma and lived in Denver.
The tragedy underscored the danger of jumping from the high cliffs, which are a popular diving spot despite several people getting seriously injured there every year.
“We have been called out there several times this summer — it happens way too often,” said Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Lipsher. “It simply is not safe to jump from those cliffs into the water, period.”
In late June, an LDFR crew assisted with the rescue of a teenage girl who was injured jumping from the cliffs but was pulled from the water by friends.
Another diver suffered a serious spinal injury this year, Lipsher said, but he recovered and is still able to walk.
While the water off the cliffs does get very deep, the area closer to the water’s edge has highly variable depths, making it extremely dangerous, Lipsher said.
The man who died Tuesday was the second to meet his end jumping from the cliffs since 2003, according the coroner’s office. The cause of the other death, in 2005, was a fatal disruption of heart rhythm caused by blunt force trauma.
The last person to drown in Green Mountain Reservoir before Tuesday was 16-year-old Jefte Flores in August 2015. He did not jump from the cliffs but went under and never resurfaced after chasing a ball into the water.
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