Alabama Marine Police: Jump at your own risk - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama Marine Police: Jump at your own risk

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

A young woman is still recovering from her injuries after jumping from what's commonly referred to as "Chimney Rock" at Lake Martin.

The 22-year-old from Nashville jumped from the rock's tallest point. She was airlifted Sunday to UAB Hospital.

Alabama Marine Police say hers is the first major injury at the rock this year, and it doesn't seem to be deterring others from jumping.

Jumping there is a favorite pastime for many people. During the weekend, the area is packed with boats and jumpers.

There are multiple levels that people jump from. "Chicken Rock" is about 20-25 feet up. The tallest is more than 50 to 60 feet high.

Alabama Marine Police say thousands of people jump off the tallest rock every year, and two to three serious injuries are reported annually. Sgt. Mark Fuller says there are probably dozens more that go unreported. The injuries they do see span the spectrum.

"Severe bruises, collapsed lung, broken bones, a lot of females that are injured do not report it. It's more of a personal type injury, anytime anyone jumps off the rock they need to keep their legs closed, the impact from the water can do damage to the human body," Fuller said.

Chimney rock is an emotional subject for a lot of people who spend time on the lake. Many people are dead set against jumping from any level because they've witnessed injuries or know someone who was hurt. But for many others, this is a place full of great memories.

Marine police do heavy patrols around Chimney Rock over the weekends, watching out for injuries and hoping their presence will deter any unsafe behavior, but officers are not there all the time. So they stress, if you're going to jump always have someone with you who can call for help if you need it.

It's also important to remember it's dangerous just to climb up to the jumping point.

"It's like anything around the water, you do it at your own risk, there are no lifeguards posted here to come to your rescue. All you can do is hope someone is watching you, and they'll come to your rescue if you become endangered," Fuller said.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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