May 4th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
Video of dangerous jump off Lundbreck Falls goes viral
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Chris Mezei and Colin Ross were back in the Pass on April 29 to climb Turtle Mountain, all part the pair’s recent decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Pass Herald Reporter
The daredevil squats on a rocky ledge by a pounding waterfall pouring into what looks like a frigid pool, throwing up spray.

“This guy’s going to jump right off into the falls,” comes a voice from behind the camera.

“It’s going to be one of the craziest dives you’ve ever seen in your life,” it said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this.”

The man takes off at a run, leaps off the ledge and plunges into the icy waters.

He disappears for a moment but soon bobs to the surface. His friend shouts “good job” and “that was nuts” as he clambers back to the rocks.
The video Colin Ross, 31, recorded of his friend, Chris Mezei, 33, taking a 12-metre leap off Lundbreck Falls has gone viral. After Ross posted the video to YouTube, the pair began fielding calls from reporters in Britain, the United States, China, Norway, Sweden and Belgium.

“It’s crazy,” said Ross. “All for that small little video.”

“Looks like we put Lundbreck on the map,” added Mezei.

Mezei said he’s been filmed jumping off Lundbreck Falls before and actually posted previous videos to social media sites but they made much less of a splash. He attributes the massive response from this latest one to Ross’s commenting and videography skills.
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“I’ve done it quite a few times before that too,” said Mezei. “I had videos of that jump on Facebook for four or five years…I think the commentating did play a big role in it.”

“I think it’s all this guy here and his voice,” said Mezei of his childhood friend Ross.

Ironically, his hop off the falls might be a product of the pair’s recent decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“We actually just quit drinking and all that,” said Ross. “We used to be party animals and we wanted to get away and start fresh. We needed something to do on the weekend so we decided to go hiking in the mountains.”

The pair said they intend to do a number of hikes this summer as part of their plan to exercise a bit more and party a bit less.

The tale of the jump began April 24. The pair was visiting the Pass to see Ross’s aunt Jo Otteson and cousin Cale Otteson and to hike Tabletop Mountain

On their way back to Lethbridge Mezei asked to stop by the falls.

“He got this look in his eyes and I said, ‘you’re going to jump aren’t you?’” said Ross.

Ross said he’s signed a license agreement for their video with Storyful, a Dublin, Ireland, based company that describes itself as a social news agency.

Storyful uses a mix of software and a team of journalists to find, verify, and license videos and other social media content.
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The pair could be paid for the video with the amount depending on how many hits it gets but they have no plans to make a habit of filming dangerous stunts.

“We’ll play it by ear,” said Ross. “It’s not like we’re going to plan the next one.”

“But if I see something, I’ll jump it,” added Mezei.

Police said what Mezei did was dangerous but legal.

“There’s nothing in the criminal code that says you can’t jump off a waterfall, unless it’s private property or something like that,” said Crowsnest RCMP Sgt. Greg Wiebe.

“It’s not illegal,” he said. “But it’s certainly not any kind of activity that we would condone just based on the inherent risks involved. It’s not a safe thing to do.”

Wiebe said the jump might have been in violation of Alberta’s Provincial Parks Act, which states that, “no person shall interfere with the right of others to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of a provincial park or recreation area.”

“Something like that might be applicable,” said Wiebe. “But I can’t say that would apply for sure.”

For their part, Mezei and Ross are not suggesting anybody else attempt the stunt.

“Don’t do it, it’s a huge risk,” said Mezei. “You’ve got the undertow and there are some pretty big rocks within a few feet off that cliff.”

“We’re not promoting this at all,” added Ross. “It’s dangerous if you don’t know where you’re jumping.”

In May 2010, an experienced kayaker died during a deliberate attempt to shoot the falls.

View Video: Insane Jump from Alberta's Lundbreck Falls
May 4th ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
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