On Jumping from the cliffs

Copy/pasted from TA, this was a long-time post by a member called “HedoDiveMaster”. I have placed it here for reference as TA keeps deleting it in the wake of a diving death that occurred at Rick’s Cafe in Negril this past week.

As you can see, it presents a certain point of view about the wisdom of cliff diving at all, yet it has excellent tips for how to make that dive work well if you do it. So, I reprint it here, because I can.

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Some folks, when visiting the Cliffs section of Negril (Rick’s, for example), find it an excellent/exciting idea to jump (not, hopefully dive) from the cliffs. I would not do it as jumping into water is like jumping onto a concrete sidewalk.

Nonetheless, some folks do endeavor to try it.

I thought I would pass along this advice as to how to do this with only minimum damage to yourself.
Part of Naval training is jumping into water from a 10 meter platform (slightly over 30 feet). I extracted this advice from a blog (or something like that) about what one recruit learned from this training:

Position counts. A lot. If you hit the water in any direction other than vertical, it’s going to hurt. You want to hit the water straight up and down. The best way to do this is to fall straight down. You might think I’m kidding. I’m not. If you hesitate for even a split second on the edge, your feet will stay and your torso will fall. This means you’re already 30 to 45 degrees from the vertical before you’ve even left the platform.

Belly flop anyone?

Prevent the belly flop by taking a small hop up from the platform and imagining you’re a rod. Stand straight up and down and you’ll fall straight up and down.

Try to point you feet downward so that you do not hit flat-footed.

Unless you’re naked or extremely well endowed males, you don’t need to worry about cupping your groin. From 10 meters, you’re going to hit the water at about 40 to 45 miles per hour. Then you’re going to stop in a distance of about 8 to 10 feet. If you’re cupping your groin, it will feel like someone punched you there, with their fists traveling at 40 miles per hour because your hands will impart the entire deceleration to your nether regions. Still worried about the family jewels? Put your feet straight together and keep ’em together.

Meanwhile, cross and tuck your arms. You don’t want them out and flailing when you hit.

Ladies, that’s very important, because unlike the guys with their legs, you don’t have anything to protect your breasts. Your swimsuit or bra isn’t going to cut it. Your crossed arms will prevent a very uncomfortable impact directly to your breasts and possible disrobing.

Finally, don’t look around. Don’t move your head. Look straight forward. By looking down, you run the risk of busting your lips and gums open; if really out of position (like head forward and looking down), you might break your jaw. Bite down so you don’t chomp your tongue off.

You have now assumed crash (CRASH!) position. You don’t need to do anything else. In fact, anything else is just going to make it hurt even more. You’re going to find the water. Once you hop (hop, not lean), it’s inedible and you will have no choice about it.

Now that you’ve hit the water…

You’re going to descend about 8 to 10 feet, no matter how much arm waving and kicking you do once you hit the water. The worst part is that the arm waving and kicking instinctively begins before you hit the water if you even think about it.

The best thing to do is just go along for the ride. The more compact you are and the more vertical you are, the better. I have seen some jumpers try to land on their butt. This generally results in a very bruised butt at best and a bruised or damaged tail bone at worst.

Close your eyes before you hit the water. Wait until the ride comes to a full and complete stop. Follow the bubbles upward. It is possible that you’ve become disoriented from the impact.
One you have returned to the surface do not wave you arms as waving your arms about is the diver’s signal of distress and the need for help. Wave if you do need help.

I found this very good advice if you are going to do this foolish activity. Think carefully, as I have seen too many folks come back with deep bruises, damaged skin and once a gal returned to H2 in an ambulance and was wheeled in on a gurney. The local clinic said to me that a significant number of their clients are cliff jumpers.

Thoughts? Questions? I'd love to hear them!