British Columbia

Alberta man plummets 45 metres down B.C. waterfall — and lives — after trying to take photo with his cellphone

A man from Calgary was reaching over a fence at the top of a waterfall to take a photo and fell after he lunged to save fumbled cellphone.

'We’re just amazed that he made it,' rescuer says

A search and rescue leader says an Alberta man is lucky to be alive after falling down this waterfall at Fintry Provincial Park. (Christopher Gardiner/Shutterstock)

A Calgary man is lucky to be alive after falling 45 metres down a waterfall while rock climbing near Vernon, B.C.

Trevor Honigman, director of Vernon Search and Rescue, said the man was climbing with his family Sunday afternoon at the falls in Fintry Provincial Park.

He reached over a fence at the top of the falls during the climb to take a better cellphone photo, but the phone fell out of his hands.

When the man lunged for the phone, Honigman said, he lost his grip and "bounced" down the rock face.

"It's absolutely miraculous he only had light injuries," Honigman said. "He had some scrapes and bruises, but from an approximately 150-foot fall, he's lucky to be alive."

Vernon Search and Rescue supplied this marked-up image which shows where the man fell (red arrow) and where rescuers climbed down to to meet him (yellow circle). (Trevor Honigman)

Honigman said the man landed in the very middle of a small pool at its deepest point, "And it's not all that deep there."

"We're just amazed that he made it," Honigman added.

The man was well-prepared for climbing, Honigman said, and was smart after the fall in that he didn't try to climb down on his own and instead called for help.

According to information Honigman has received, the man is back with his family and very thankful to be alive.

Honigman says the lesson from this story is not to cross fences or barriers in wilderness areas.

"They're there for a reason," he emphasized.

With files from Max Haberstroh