Fall Victim from Isla Vista Cliff

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Fall victim from a cliff in the 67000 block of Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista.

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ElRojo Oct 22, 2017 10:18 AM
Fall Victim from Isla Vista Cliff

Fifty years ago I was both a student at UCSB and a member of the UCSB Fire Department (this was long before the fire service was taken over by the County). The University’s Fire Department had both full time professional firemen and student firemen. As a student fireman I trained in the field frequently and in the classroom too. And of course rolled on many calls, day and night, for fires, stuck elevators, car crashes, fallen bicycles, drug overdoses and more. The saddest calls were the ones related to cliff falls. There were generally two or three per year. Usually the falls involved drugs or alcohol but sometimes it was just a new student’s mistake or someone’s simple stupidity. The results ranged from a few scrapes to broken bones to broken backs to grave neurological damage to death. I still remember , all too clearly, one night when a call came in about a woman over the cliffs. As I hung on to the rear of our 1,000 gallon pumper, we raced to the cliffs near where the Lagoon sometimes empties into the ocean. The we grabbed our heavy life saving gear and ran down the beach, clothed in our fireman’s heavy boots and turnout pants and coats. We didn’t know exactly where our fallen victim was but after running two hundred yards or so we found a small party of her friends surrounding her. Unfortunately she had died! I haven’t kept track but I often wonder, how many people have fallen over the Campus cliffs since then? The Isla Vista cliffs? How many have died? What other injuries have occurred? Why hasn’t it stopped? Fifty years is a long time. El Rojo

a-1574472288 Oct 22, 2017 12:50 PM
Fall Victim from Isla Vista Cliff

"Allow forest fires"?? Clearly someone thought we had power over lightning, wind and tree limbs knocking down power lines in steep inaccessible terrain. We have a far greater chance of curbing the shocking number of deaths by gunfire but choose not to. As for preventing cliff falls ... it's simple - put up a net all along the Isla Vista coast. :-)

a-1574472288 Oct 22, 2017 12:24 PM
Fall Victim from Isla Vista Cliff

It's sad for sure! It's always going to happen, even with fences and warnings there will still be the lure for some when they are drunk, or the danger of being in a hurry, or young students who think they are invincible and nothing can happen if they take the shortcut down the cliff... Someone recently said to me, "we live in the greatest country on earth, I can't understand how we still allow forest fires!" Really? Same concept, different topic.

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