AUSTIN (KXAN) - Over and over, a trio of men risked their lives, climbing the30-foot base of the Lamar Blvd. bridge and jumping back into theColorado River.
Austin Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensley stared indisbelief at the photos documenting the daredevils.
"There's always somebody who likes to push it to the limit,"Hensley said. "I understand that they like to do their ownrecreation, but the point here is it's not safe… It's commonsense. You don't jump off the bridge into a water that fluctuatesin raising and lowering, because you will not be able to tell howdeep the water is."
Lady Bird Lake, Austin’s metro section of the river,averages a 14-foot depth, but as you approach the bridge, thebottom is just inches away. As Texas announces the lake as anofficial Paddling Trail, the state Parks and Wildlife Departmenthad concerns with the daredevil details.
Director Carter Smith said, "Make sure that you're setting anexample for all who are following you, particularly our childrenwho are looking for us to model good behavior on thewaterways."
Austin city code prohibits swimming in the lake, beyondemergencies. It also bans bridge jumping, with even fewerexceptions. The mayor's support of a film called "Jumping OffBridges" is one of the last allowed cases.
Police, fire, and EMS all say they do not document thespecifics. In fact, one EMS officer told Austin News that anyinjuries are between the jumper and his doctor. People who foundout the jumpers' antics had inspired more people to climb thebridge that day say the city should do something to stop it fromhappening again.
Alice Cashman suggested, “Barbed wire. They should wind itaround the top.”
Hensley said, "We may have to work inter-departmentally to postsome signs about breaking the law."
After acknowledging that police only occasionally patrol thelake, she showed the photos to police, who soon plan to have boatspatrol the lake on weekends.
Check out Josh's " LivingOff The Air" blog post about bridge jumping for all the photosand more details about the story.
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