MARIETTA, S.C. — A 20-year-old woman fell 45 feet from a waterfall at Jones Gap State Park while hiking with a girlfriend Monday afternoon, according to River Falls Fire Department's Richard Embry, who served as the incident commander on the scene.
Embry said the woman reportedly hiked about halfway up the falls and stopped to take a photo before continuing to the top, where she slipped and fell headfirst into the water.
The woman was approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. When first responders made contact, she was hypothermic and had large lacerations on her head and forehead, Embry said.
River Falls, Glassy Mountain and Slater-Marietta firefighters along with EMS and park personnel responded to the scene.
The woman was transported by ground to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Her condition is unknown at this time.
Waterfall safety tips from VisitWaterfalls.com:
1. Stay on developed trails and don’t stray from observation decks and platforms.
2. Follow instructions posted at all waterfalls and trails.
3. Watch your footing. Dry rocks can be just as slippery as wet ones, especially those covered with algae.
4. The top of any waterfall is the most dangerous. Do not lean over a ledge at
the top of a falls.
5. Watch children carefully. Children should always be under the immediate supervision of adults when visiting any falls. Pets should also be supervised. They can easily underestimate the slickness of rocks and the flow of water.
6. Be especially careful when you are taking photographs. Many times, photographers become more focused on taking a photo rather than securing their footing. Make sure you are in a safe, solid location before taking photographs.
7. To insure your safety on the rocks and trails, never visit waterfalls or hike alone.
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