Teen Miraculously Survives 400-Foot Fall Down a Canyon

Mason County Sheriff's Office
Mason County Sheriff's Office

A 19-year-old plummeted more than 400 feet down the side of a canyon in Washington state over the weekend—and walked away with only minor injuries.

The teen was attempting to hike beneath the High Steel Bridge in Mason County on Saturday when he fell and took the steep 420-foot plunge, Fire Chief Matthew Welander of West Mason Fire told King 5.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office shared a Facebook post confirming the rescue, including photos from the scene, in which the teenager’s face is blurred out and a team is seen sending a harnessed firefighter down off the bridge. Officials were forced to use binoculars to spot the teen.


“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our Special Operations Rescue Team, he was rescued and sustained only minimal injuries,” the sheriff added.

The teen is understood to have suffered just a few scrapes in the fall, but was taken to hospital for examination.

Tim Ripp, a Mason County sheriff’s patrol corporal who was part of the two-hour rescue mission, told NBC News that from five to seven people fall off the bridge every year and the majority of them die.

“We’ve told people to stay off these trails because they’re dangerous,” Ripp said, “but people either haven’t seen the warning signs or are disregarding it.”

In a Facebook post the West Mason Fire Department added, “Luckily the 19 year old made it out alive. A lot of our rescues aren’t so lucky. Remember, do NOT hike down next to the bridge.”

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