Officials warn public of cliff diving dangers in Lancaster County

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Officials  are warning parents and teens about cliff diving.

This comes after a 20-year-old man jumping from a Lancaster County cliff with a group of people went into the water and never came back up. Police say he was jumping off of large rocks about a mile down from Peach Bottom Marina;

Cliff diving has become a dangerous yet popular trend in recent years thanks to online videos.

“I actually searched on YouTube before I came here," said Marcus Rodriguez of Delaware.

The most recent event happened at a cliff along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster  County in an area near ‘Ferncliff Nature Preserve’ -- owned by Lancaster County Conservancy in Drumore township.

In July of 2010 --  a 19-year-old from Manheim Township drowned in the same spot.

“Sometimes I see people being extra and jumping from the sides of the cliff and I know it gets shallow," said Alyssa Nafziger.

Those who are up for an adventure say while it can be fun, the risks aren’t always at the top of people’s minds.

The surrounding areas have no warning signs  — or — trespassing signs.

“They should have signs just to keep everyone on the same page I would say so that this doesn’t continue to happen," added Nafziger.

“People are literally taking their own lives into their own hands when they are making choices to jump off very high areas into water," said Dr. Steven Diamantoni, Lancaster County Coroner.

Dr. Diamantoni says the risk that comes along with cliff diving is very real.

“You accelerate at a relatively rapid rate when you hit the water, so if an individual is jumping off the cliff that is say 35 feet above the water, they are traveling at 35 to 36 miles an hour when they hit the water," he said.

All of which can result in serious injuries -- or even death.

“They could have a concussion and depending on what angle they hit the water they could have very serious and neck injuries, they could lose consciousness," added Diamantoni

FOX43 reached out to Lancaster County Conservancy to see if they plan on placing signs warning of the danger ahead — however they declined to comment.

We did however, confirm that the area they own leading up to the cliff (not the cliff itself) is open to the public.

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