Falls base-jump of concern

A VIDEO posted on You Tube, showing three men BASE jumping from the Minyon Falls lookout platform, has sparked an angry reaction from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

"There can be long term consequences for people undertaking these types of activities and those who come to their rescue if things go wrong," service spokesman Lawrence Orel said.

"We have recently have seen that happen with the tragic death of a paramedic during a rescue operation in the Southern Highlands on Christmas Eve.

"Search and rescue operations are by their nature expensive and people requiring rescue may be liable for the costs associated with the operation."

The YouTube video "BASE Jumping Minyon Falls Outside of Byron Bay Australia 2010" shows three men standing on the viewing platform there before all three jump off and down the falls.

The video concludes with one of the jumpers being taken into a hospital emergency ward - in a wheelchair - after injuring himself in the jump.

The video was uploaded by Loulousfo on November 29 and names two of the men as Lucky Chance and Grant Raedel.

Lucky Chance, whose real name is Toby Benham, was badly injured in August this year, during a BASE jumping mishap in France.

Police also charged Mr Raedel, in May this year, with committing an unregulated high-risk activity after he jumped from the roof of a Broadbeach high-rise.

When contacted by the Northern Star, Mr Raedel claimed to have not seen the video and denied ever jumping from Minyon Falls.

"I would not jump there, that would be illegal," he said.

He then went on to describe the location in some detail.

"It's about a 300 foot high sheer drop waterfall with a decent landing area," he said.

"I would see it as a safe jump."

Mr Raedel said that if there was a mishap while BASE jumping, then other BASE jumpers would help.

"I think about a possible rescue for me all the time, but it's no different to playing football, rock fishing or paragliding, there's always a risk."

Mr Orel said the NPWS did not condone the activity shown in the video and would be investigating the incident.

"We will look at options to prevent those types of activities occurring in the future such as remodelling the lookout platform or installing more significant barriers."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the NPWS office at Alstonville (02) 6627 7020.


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