Man's jump off Lundbreck Falls dangerous but not illegal, say police

A friend posted video of his buddy jumping from Lundbreck Falls in southern Alberta over the weekend. While the move is certainly dangerous, officials say he didn't break the law.

'Anybody who knows that waterfall knows not to jump it,' says friend who shot video

Chris Mezei takes a leap off Lundbreck Falls on Sunday. (Colin Ross/YouTube)

Two men from Lethbridge set out on a few life-affirming adventures on the weekend, which included one of them jumping from the 12-metre Lundbreck Falls in southern Alberta.

It may be dangerous — but it's not illegal, according to police.

Colin Ross, 31, posted the video to YouTube after his friend, Chris Mezei, 33, climbed over a metre-high mesh wire fence and — with visible and audible trepidation — jumps from a rocky precipice into the frigid and churning waters below on Sunday.

Ross, who shot the video, didn't join his friend for the jump this time, but both men had taken the plunge in the past.

The falls are easily accessible in Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area, about 20 kilometres west of Pincher Creek, and are typically a magnet for their beauty. But the fence can be easily climbed and there are no warning signs about jumping.

"Anybody who knows that waterfall knows not to jump it," said Ross. "There's not a sign to be seen — there's nothing just a little fence there."

"Without a sign, it's not illegal, said Const. Sean McKenna with the Crowsnest Pass RCMP. 

"But, of course, we don't condone it."

However, if there was a conservation officer on site, Mezei would have been stopped under Alberta Provincial Parks Act, said Bryan Sundberg, conservation officer for the Pincher Creek district. 

Rocks and undertow

"Locals say it's dangerous because the rocks are hidden," said McKenna. "If you take a shorter jump you could hit rocks, plus the undertow is strong."

For Ross and Mezei, their adventures were about breaking bad habits and embracing life.

"It was liberating for him," said Ross.

But he quickly adds: "We're not trying to promote people jumping off the falls or anything … bad things have happened to people there."

A kayaker was killed at the park when he intentionally plunged over the falls in 2010.

Colin Ross, right, with friend Chris Mezei during their weekend of adventures in southern Alberta. (Colin Ross/Facebook)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?