SPOKANE, Wash.-- — On a hot day where temperatures are hitting over 100 degrees, who wouldn't want to cool off in the water?
While jumping from a bridge into a river or a lake may seem like a fun way to cool off, experts say it is actually dangerous.
A teen in Southwest Washington is recovering in the hospital Thursday after a friend pushed her off a bridge that spans the Lewis River near Moulton Falls. Officials say the 16-year-old could have drowned.
According to Mike Lopez with the Spokane Fire Department, injuries from bridge jumping are not reported often in Spokane. A young man was critically injured back flipping off a bridge in 2017.
Tyler Wright, 25, climbed to the top of an abandoned bridge and attempted the back flip. Lopez said the danger of bridge jumping is this: The higher you go, the harder you will hit the water.
"The water isn't as soft as we'd like it to be or believe that it is. So the higher up you are the more momentum you're going to generate and as such, depending on how you land, you're going to hit that water pretty hard and in many cases, depending on how high you are, it'd be just like jumping on concrete," Lopez said.
At this time of the year, water levels are low in rivers and lakes, increasing the risk of injuries. How high you are and how you land in the water can cause a variety of injuries, which are sometimes irreversible.
"What really becomes a problem is really what's underneath the water that you can't see. Rocks, snags, protrusions and foreign bodies in the water just increase the danger of doing so," said Lopez.