This week is all about Blue Hole and one of the biggest issues when it comes to this tranquil retreat is the amount of injuries that occur.
At Blue Hole the Jenkinsburg bridge looms over the blue water. For some the bridge adds to the scenic beauty, but for others it adds temptation.
It is unclear about the exact height of the bridge. I have read multiple news sources that all give varying heights. The Charleston Gazette says that it is 63-feet high. The Daily Athenaeum says it’s 75-feet, but one thing is certain, any fall/jump from the bridge could result in major injury.
Blue Hole is a popular place to hang out for students and locals during the summer, but when you mix alcohol and heights, which many do, things are bound to go wrong.
The need to jump may seem odd, but when you watch the video below, it becomes clear that coercion can be the main driving factor.
This video was published in 2013. The young man jumping from the bridge is peer pressured for most of the video to jump, but when he finally does, the landing isn’t so smooth.
The comment feed below reveals that the man needed rescued and suffered a concussion.
On this video, there was a more recent comment where someone complained about fracturing his vertebrae as a result of jumping from the Jenkinsburg bridge. People still continue to jump even though many accidents have been reported at Blue Hole.
In 2008 a young man was reported dead after drowning in the waters at Blue Hole. He was caught in a current and unable to escape, and a 19-year-old girl was also injured when jumping from the bridge the same year.
Andrew Coleman, a former forestry and wildlife management student at West Virginia University, has been to Blue Hole roughly eight to ten times and talks about his own experiences.
He says that people get drunk and aren’t responsible. “Usually it’s not that bad, but people do leave a lot of their shit,” says Coleman. ” I watch people jump the bridge which is a good 30-40 feet above the water. A couple years ago a girl jumped and broke her back. She was paralyzed.”
These injuries can be life changing, but what makes it worse is that help may be delayed when trying to come to the rescue. It’s not only the bridge that is dangerous, but also the roads to reach Blue Hole.
“There are two ways to get there. One way is dangerous. There is a quad trail that gets washed out a lot. It’s really scary to go down,” says Coleman.
This can be a problem for those visiting Blue Hole for the first time that are unaware of the two entrances, which could cause more accidents, but the ones who need the road the most, first-responders, are experiencing difficulties.
The Preston County Journal even wrote an article about how the road conditions affect accessibility for firefighters. This article was written in 2015, but it’s a problem that has always made it more difficult for medics, firefighters and police officers to reach the secluded area.
Chief Dan Luzier of Masontown’s Volunteer Fire Department told the Preston County Journal, “Ambulances cannot get down to the location from Masontown,” Luzier explained. “So, for example, if we have a patient who has a spinal injury, trying to get them to the ambulance on the back of the Gator can be dangerous.” (This is a direct quote from the article. )
Accidents at Blue Hole can become much worse when emergency vehicles experience difficulties reaching the location and if help is unable to reach the area, it could mean more serious injuries or fatalities, and If help is able to reach the area, according to Luzier it could mean being flung around in the back of a gator while suffering from serious wounds. Remember to be safe when enjoying the swimming hole because one jump from the bridge could effect you for the rest of your life.