Man Dies After Falling from Isla Vista Cliff

An unidentified male has died after falling from an Isla Vista cliff on Saturday afternoon, April 21, 2024 (Photo by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Update: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner has released the identity of the man who died after falling from an Isla Vista cliff on Saturday. Read the update here.

An adult male has died after falling from a cliff behind 6625 Del Playa in Isla Vista on Saturday.

The incident, reported to authorities, indicated that the unidentified male subject had climbed over a barrier fence, leading to the devastating fall, reports the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Emergency response was swift, with Santa Barbara County Fire personnel promptly arriving at the scene at 2:35 p.m. The patient, who had fallen approximately 50 feet from the cliff, was carried from the beach up the Pescadero stairs by fire personnel.

Following the rescue operation, the individual was transported with fire medics in a ground ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Room.

Later on Saturday the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office announced the adult male did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead. Their identification is pending notification to the next of kin.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the incident.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Laura Capps has been a vocal proponent of funding safety measures on the Isla Vista bluffs as several people become injured, or die, from falls each year.

“We are begging property owners to do the right thing and make your balconies safer by raising fence heights and other common-sense precautions. Our office is providing financial incentives to raise fencing. Lives are on the line,” said Capps. “This tragedy is a stark reminder of how dangerous these bluff top properties are. Property owners: this is an urgent plea to do what’s right to help save lives. We all need to step up and make Isla Vista safer now.”

Further details regarding the circumstances surrounding the fatal cliff fall will be provided as they become available.

Related Article

April 22, 2024: Coroner Releases Identity of Man who Died after Falling from Isla Vista Cliff

Edhat Staff

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      • Rubaiyat, 1 was definitely a suicide, it was a person I personally knew. All the others, party culture. Urination off the ciffs, also off the table. Due to biology & anatomy, males can pee ANYWHERE due to design. If they have to go, they’re NOT climbing over a fence to do it.
        Females have more restrictive parameters & are therefore more likely to have to go over a fence to pee for the sake of seclusion, BUT… the majority (90%+) of cliff fall incidents are males.
        Interestingly, you have zero fencing west of Sea Lookout Park through Deveroux, as well as Lagoon Island & Campus Point, yet the number of incidents if 2, maybe 3 falls in a 30 year period.
        The most recent fall at Campus point was the guy who was possibly pushed off a cliff in an altercation back in November, 2020. He died.
        As for Deveroux, the most recent incident involved a drunk driver that drove off the cliffs as police were chasing him. He survived.
        Like I mentioned to Sacjon, the issue isn’t the fencing, it’s the culture & attitude. People trying to sneak into parties is a classic thing.
        The incident at 6761 Del Playa just a few weeks ago, a female trying to “bypass” the party entrance, she fell, luckily got trapped 15′ below the deck.
        But then 3 guys trying to rescue her, they went to the bottom of the cliff, the tide came up & now SBFD had to do a cliff extraction as well as a water rescue. It’s attitude.

    • HENRY – thanks for the data, that’s interesting. Seems like this is a bigger problem on residential properties. Question is, how do we stop this? The fences they have don’t seem to work. Maybe we require more sturdy, unclimbable fences? Nets below the cliff line of properties on these blocks?

      • Sacjon, thank you. All I can say, as a 36 year resident of IV is that it’s an attitude issue, not a mechanical/structural/architectural issue.
        The “party culture” in IV has definitely changed, they’re hellbent on making the wrong choices when it comes to common sense & safety.

        An stark example is the recent display of idiocy known as “deltopia” & while nobody fell off the cliffs then, the potential was high.
        At 6743 Del Playa at 1 of the illegal pay to play parties (now illegal due to social host & festival ordinance changes) there was a 6′ tall fence blocking the guests from the cliff.
        The promoters that threw the event, they built a platform which served as a “selfie stage” that went up higher than the fence that was put in place to protect them & located right by the fence. That was 1 of the parties that got shut down.

        So, how do we stop this? Well, port-o-potties didn’t/don’t help, education doesn’t help, fencing doesn’t help, signage doesn’t help.

        I believe the biggest issue we have is the “party school” image, it draws many of the profile to the area.
        I have to add, UCSB is the ONLY UC campus w/ the issues we see in terms of the “party culture” & all that comes w/ it. It’s also the campus w/ the most blood on its hands due to fatalities.
        The UC’s LRDP (long range development plan) isn’t helping either, in fact, it’s what has created the housing crisis in the IV/Goleta area.

        But also, SBCC adds to the issue. From the study I did on cliff falls, a large portion of cliff fall incidents involved SBCC students, the 1 last year during Labor Day, he was SBCC.
        If I were a parent & my kid wanted to go to a community college as a out of state enrollee & live in a community that is effectively 12-14 miles from the campus & is known for partying w/ a high death rate, that would raise a HUGE red flag.

        Here’s where another aspect of the problem lies, the parenting. These parents are all about giving their kid the “college expreience” to the point of shelling our $2k/month rents where the kid has to share a room w/ 2-3 other people in slum-like conditions.
        Have you been to Del Playa Dr. lately? It’s what we tend to call “slum by the sea” & for many good reasons.

        It’s a combination of issues, but NONE of those really have to do w/ the fencing & signage, of which there is plenty of & from my study, it SHOULD get the job done.
        Truthfully, the fencing, up to the mid/late-2000’s was subpar, it was deficient in integrity & yes, was dangerous.
        But as the incidents increased, property owners stepped up & put up better fencing. But for some reason, the cliff fall rates increased.
        It’s NOT the fencing, it’s NOT the lack of restrooms, it’s NOT the parks, it’s the “yolo” (you only live once) attitude. The problem is the failure to see the fact & that is you live every day, you only die once.

        • Great points, Henry. These new party-promoters and pay to party things are disastrous and from an old school punk and party guy, “filthy corporate scum.” There’s no soul anymore.

          Many of the youth these days are super material and obsessed with “likes” on social media. These types of parties should be banned, outright. I think you’re right in that they do draw out of town crowds and encourage stupidity for “likes.”

          BUT…. enough of my old man rant. Kids will always party here. There’s truly no way to stop it. Waiting for college aged kids to somehow become “mature” while they’re wasted is a lose lose situation. Not gonna happen. So, what to do?

          1) Ban the pay to party stuff
          2) Consider the suicide nets out of sight (from the street at least) below cliff line behind residences abutting the cliff.
          3) Require all cliff side properties to maintain a safe fence
          4) Have IVPD patrol the cliffs and beach below to watch for drunk kids near the cliffs
          5) Hope kids get the message.

          Anything else?

        • Couldn’t agree more Henry. Build all the fences you want, condemn a bunch of homes, there’s still a big cliff there right next to hundreds/thousands of drunk, immature party kids who aren’t using their heads at all.

  1. Look, I don’t think these fences are the solution. Apparently this person CLIMBED OVER the fence. We can’t solve this with higher and higher fences. Of course condolences go out. It’s tragic.

    IV has been on the cliffs forever. And kids have been partying hard out there for decades. Are there more falls nowadays? Honestly asking.

    • More fencing is something they have to push for but it isn’t going to cure the problem.

      Anyone who’s motivated is going to go over any fence.

      And people can get out to the edge of the bluff without going across a house patio fence.

      They’d save more lives if they shut down Deltopia.

      RIP to the man, and may his family find peace.

      • ANON – this wasn’t during Deltopia. Also, aside from last year’s tragic fentanyl OD, I don’t think there have been any deaths during Deltopia.

        These tragic falling deaths need some answer. Honestly though, I don’t how to stop these. So sad.

  2. So sad and seemlingly avoidable. Would be good to know what the laws are. Can Capps have the homes
    red tagged meaning that they are unsafe to rent out. Basically someone needs to take a big loss on their value. Ans Capps may need to be willing to take the political fallout to make that happen. This area is completely unsafe. How many more partiers will lose their lives because nothing meaningful gets done.

    So very sorry to this man’s family and all the victims of this precarious and life threatening situation. What legal options are available to Supervisor Capps at this time. Who is in a position to condemn these properties and keep the public out. Would be enlightening to know what happens in these situations. How can we actually protect the public from a real danger in IV.

    How many more need to loose their lives before we create a prevention that is full proof. So very, very sad.

      • It’s actually not a bad idea. Condemn all buildings on south side of DP, remove them and make a giant park just like Shoreline on the Mesa. Give their owners 3 year’s equivalent rent and a kiss on the cheek. Now all the properties on the other side of the street have ocean views and just doubled in value. Plant big shrubs on the cliff’s edge and manage it like a public space. You can’t “de-idiot” everyone, but deaths will decrease with more visibility. Everyone breaths a sigh of relief, cue the music and cut to commercial.

        • Could Eminent Domain be used to secure the land? Take whatever number of feet considered necessary from the edge of the cliff back towards the residence for everyone’s safety. On this portion of land place a high chain link fence with a roll of concertina wire across the base of the fence and a roll across the top of the fence. May mess up the view but what’s the priority? The property owner gets compensated for a piece of land they likely would never use and death’s may be prevented. If there is something on my property I know is a hazard and subsequently causes a person to fall and injure themselves I am liable. Since these cliffs have been known to be dangerous for some time and the danger has not been eliminated, is anyone liable when a person falls over the cliff?

          • Thoughts and prayers to this (probably young) man’s family and friends.

            Unfortunately, if concertina wire doesn’t stop amphibious landings, it won’t stop drunk college kids.

            I think totally refining the area and building a system blending technology and physical barriers would be the only solution, but razor wire will just lead to kids getting pricked and stuck painfully.

            Cameras and sensors plus a fence, and personnel ready to rapidly respond to sensor trips could be a solution. There are enough cops in IV to station one or two on DP at all times

            • STONER – not a bad idea. This may be an expensive problem to fix, but with the regularity of these tragic deaths (and injuries), I think most (hopefully) agree it’s worth it.

              Sensors, safety nets below the cliff line, unclimbable but yet not view-disruptive fencing, all these are possibilities I think. It will take money, probably a lot, but I’d gladly see my tax dollars go to help fix this. Something needs to be done.

              • Sac – Good idea. Nets too. I agree that the expense is more than justifiable with the number of young lives lost this way so far. Seems like at least every 6 months someone falls and loses their life here.

                I think similar measures should be put in place at the train tracks too, I don’t know why they don’t monitor the tracks within city limits. Probably people being paranoid about “more surveillance” even though the tracks are basically public access private property

                • There are only so many resources to go around Stoner. Fund more police if you wanna go that way. In SB, they’ll have to be paid way more than they are now to recruit and retain them. The defund the police crowd will fight you on that, if they still want to. I think you’re describing a nanny state however, where we have to have fences, signs, restrictions, barricades, etc everywhere – so no one can get into trouble.

  3. Pretty simple
    Make it mandatory that the building owners be liable for these numerous, unnecessary deaths
    As soon as it starts costing the owners and property managers millions for each death, you’ll see safety measures suddenly popping up
    Ez pz

    • Of course, no one said build a 40′ fence. I’m think DOULIE is being sarcastic. I can see a move to condemn properties if deemed unsafe. When patios are crumbling with the eroding cliffs, I’d think that’s unsafe, but that’s not universally happening along DP.

      If young adults are falling and dying, it’s still dangerous, but what more can a property owner do? If the fencing is found to be inadequate, they should be liable. It’s a known hazard. Again though, is that what’s happening? Not sure.

      Buying out the owners and razing the cliff-side homes is drastic, but unless they’re not fundamentally unsafe for habitation (eg, patios falling down cliffs, etc), I don’t see that happening.

    • BASIC – Yes, I’m serious in my comment about the wire/fence. No need to bulldoze any property as the ocean will eventually reclaim the land. Nothing done to make the area safe so far has worked, so why not try chain link and concertina wire as I suggested? I don’t see many people trying to crawl through the wire on the ground, up the fence and through the wire above the fence. Do you? Do you have a better suggestion?

      • If properties are condemned they 100% should be razed to the ground. Why allow a structure to just dilapidate year after year dumping material onto the beach? You can manage the cliff edge by cutting it back and planting native shrubs and ground cover along with reasonable fencing and security cameras, among other things.

    • Sincere condolences to the family of young Mr. Parker. Their grief knows no bounds right now.

      Property ownership is a long term investment, even corporate-owned rent mines like DP ocean. If you owned one or more of these precariously perched properties, especially if you’d owned it a decade or more, you should know that it’s only a matter of a few years before they start being condemned anyway because they’ll be literally falling down the cliff. Every year your liability increases, and I have no clue how they’re still being insured but I know it’s only getting more expensive. If the county or state or UCSB or some combination offered you a reasonable offramp you’d be wise to take it.
      Managing the structureless cliff edge could be done many ways, but the first step would be removing the damn buildings. Given the long string of senseless tragedies here I don’t think it’s a radical idea at all.

        • I did. From ’89 to ’91. Moved here in 1980, though. Don’t really see why that’s relevant, but there ya go.
          And to Goletalocalsince69 yes I’m aware that people, drunk and sober find ways to destroy themselves. I don’t think throwing our hands up and saying ‘ya can’t fix drunk/stupid-no lawsuits!’ is our only option, because: property values (also, lawyers looking to blame a property owner might find a target-rich field?). Wouldn’t it be better for maybe a few of them if, instead of finding themselves surprisingly inebriated and facing a short barrier on a darkened precipice behind a building like Jacob and so many others did, they were in a park with lights and tables, late-night partiers, and maybe a line of nopal cactus and a double fence guarding the edge? Instead of clinging to a precipice we know will ultimately fail, why not cut back the edge and create a more natural slope? I know it’s a somewhat fantastical notion.

          But the reality is that that cliff is going to eat some buildings if they sit there long enough, everyone knows that, and I just think that a balcony hanging over a 50 vertical drop just makes it easy for accidents and terrible impulses to take someone’s life and that maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. The “if” part of the future isn’t that hard to predict here, only the “when”. It’s better to have a realistic long view than pretend it won’t happen.

  4. A four foot fence that is not easy to climb should be enough to make it clear that it is a boundary that should not be crossed. Post some signs showing stick people tumbling off a cliff. I resist the notion that we have to thwart adults that choose to ignore obvious barriers.

  5. Empty suit should condem the buildings along the cliffs because some people choose to not adhere to rules and guidelines and go against common sense and fall of cliffs? Are you also for fencing off all unsafe areas like the Alps, Arches NP and the Grand Canyon?!
    Use your brains to stay safe and don’t run around unsafe areas when on drugs etc. We can’t protect every person from doing the wrong thing. These are young grown adults that made bad decisions. Very sad but they should know not to do this. Some intentionally do.
    People go jump into acidic pools in Yellowstone and die after having given pamphlets, signs everywhere and other people warning them. Look at all the idiots petting buffalo and putting their kids next to them for a photo op. Bad decisions have no age range.

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