'Leap of Faith' Off Hawaii Waterfall Ends Badly

Yet Shiloh Shahan still wants to try it again
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2016 11:23 AM CDT

Shiloh Shahan calls it his "leap of faith." Others call it just plain stupid. While visiting Wailua Falls on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Sept. 1, the California native decided to ignore the many warning signs and jump an estimated 85 to 173 feet from the top of the falls to the pool below. "It felt like the right thing to do," he tells the San Luis Obispo Tribune, describing the jump as spiritual, not suicidal. "I remembered to point my feet so I didn't hit the water like concrete but I forgot to put my hands and neck down so when I hit the water my head snapped back and it knocked me out," adds Shahan, 21, per KUTV. Thankfully, tourists from Washington state came to his rescue. "Without them, I probably wouldn’t have been able to survive," Shahan says.

David McGrath tells the Garden Island he began filming when he saw a figure on the top of the falls preparing to jump. His video shows Shahan fail to surface several seconds after hitting the water. "Oh, he's knocked out," McGrath says before the video ends. In a separate video from the top of the falls, McGrath and his daughter, a lifeguard, can be seen swimming toward Shahan's limp body. They reached him about a minute after he hit the water and brought him to shore. YouTube users describe the illegal jump as an "epicly stupid stunt" that risked the lives of Shahan and his rescuers, but Shahan says he felt "reborn" despite suffering a concussion and several torn muscles. "Honestly, I plan on doing it again," he says. (A man and his would-be rescuer both died at this waterfall.)

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