Fire Department Talks Water Safety After Accident at “The Deeps”

22-Year-Old Man Is Recovering After Jumping Into Popular Lester River Swimming Hole

DULUTH, Minn. – A 22-year-old man is recovering after jumping into a popular swimming hole in the Lester River known as “The Deeps.”

Authorities tell us the man was pulled from the water unconscious with a laceration to the back of the head after hitting a rock just below the water’s surface. The man eventually came to, began breathing, and was taken to a local hospital.

Firefighters tell us they’ve responded to emergencies at “The Deeps” often, but last night’s accident didn’t stop some thrill seekers from going back to jump┬átoday.

The Duluth Fire Department says jumping off cliffs can obviously be dangerous anytime, but weather can also play a big factor in swimming conditions changing very quickly.

For decades, jumps at “The Deeps” have attracted adventure seekers.

“I like to jump off because it’s fun,” says Sam Risley, who was jumping with his friends. “You get that adrenaline going. It’s just thrilling.”

“I like the adrenaline rush and having fun with my friends,” says Jenner Gaff, who also jumped. “Maybe see some girls out here.”

Choosing the right place to jump makes a big difference.

“You have to pick the right spot at the right time, and just because it’s safe one day, doesn’t mean it’s going to be safe the next,” says Captain Mark Herman of the Duluth Fire Department.

A lot of factors can change water conditions.

“Think about what happened the day before,” says Herman. “Did we have a heavy rain? Is there a heavy current? In the lake, is there heavy waves?”

It’s recommended to always check your landing spot before you jump.

“I went down and checked it out for everybody,” says Risley. “Made sure it was deep, no logs or rocks in the way.”

Swimming or jumping becomes more dangerous when alcohol or drugs are involved.

“You’re going to take chances you normally wouldn’t take,” says Herman. “It’s easier to trip. It’s easier not to carry and be as smart as you normally would be.”

But when done safely, splashing in the water can be the perfect way to enjoy summer.

The Duluth Fire Department reminds us to always check the weather before heading out on the water, and to always wear a life jacket when in a boat.

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