Home News Terrifying moment whitewater kayaker plunges down a 134ft waterfall in Chile in...

Terrifying moment whitewater kayaker plunges down a 134ft waterfall in Chile in death-defying feat 

12
0


The thought of plunging headfirst down a waterfall might not appeal to the masses, but for one man it is his driving force. 

Professional kayaker Dane Jackson, 26, had been determined to conquer Chile’s 134ft Salto Del Maule since he first saw a photograph of it in 2016. 

The fearless athlete, from Tennessee, survived the drop and now holds the world record for the second longest waterfall descent. 

Footage recorded by his kayak team shows him approach the brink of the waterfall in his kayak before dramatically plunging down and disappearing into the white froth of the water. 

He eventually reappears in the distance, after becoming separated from his kayak.   

The adventurer also recorded footage of the drop from his point of view, taking the viewer along with him on the terrifying ride. 

Choppy waters surround Mr Jackson as he speeds to the edge of the cliff. For one heart-stopping moment the screen goes black and the viewer is left to wonder what has happened to Mr Jackson. 

Eventually he resurfaces amid the white froth of the waves after becoming separated from his kayak when it filled with water and was sucked away from him.  

Dane Jackson, 26, had been determined to conquer the Chilean 134-foot Salto Del Maule since he first saw a photograph of it in 2016

Dane Jackson, 26, had been determined to conquer the Chilean 134-foot Salto Del Maule since he first saw a photograph of it in 2016

Footage shows him approach the brink of the waterfall before dramatically plunging down and disappearing into the white froth of the water

Footage shows him approach the brink of the waterfall before dramatically plunging down and disappearing into the white froth of the water

He is seen vertically dropping down the length of the waterfall before disappearing in the white froth of the water

He is seen vertically dropping down the length of the waterfall before disappearing in the white froth of the water 

Mr Jackson has been kayaking since he was just two years old and his father, Eric Jackson, is also a national kayaking champion and the founder of his own kayak store – Jackson Kayaks. 

He is bested only by Montana kayaker Tyler Bradt, who managed a 189-foot descent at Palouse Falls in Washington. 

Posting the achievement on Instagram, Mr Jackson wrote: ‘When an obsession becomes a reality… I give you, Salto Maule.’ 

Mr Jackson has been kayaking since he was just two years old

Mr Jackson has been kayaking since he was just two years old

He has now conquered six waterfalls that are over 100 feet high. 

Salto del Maule may be gone in just one month because a hydroelectric project upstream is set to permanently redirect the Maule River through a different valley.  

Mr Jackson told the New York Times: ‘I’ve been wanting to do this waterfall for so long that I was nervous, really scared above it, but I have been wanting to experience it for the last five years.’

He added: ‘I got pretty splashed in the face and it was a white-out, but I had enough feeling that I was in control.’

Once Mr Jackson landed in the white froth below, he came out of his kayak. 

He said: ‘It happened pretty fast, but when I hit, the skirt of my kayak came off, and the boat filled up with water, and I went super deep.

The fearless athlete, from Tennessee, survived the drop and now holds the world record for the second longest waterfall descent

The fearless athlete, from Tennessee, survived the drop and now holds the world record for the second longest waterfall descent

‘The boat just got pulled away from me.’

Mr Jackson doesn’t spend too much time worrying about risks involved in a drop of this size, and instead focuses on the experience he will have while it’s happening. 

He said: ‘I was willing to accept any risk because it was a drop that I wanted to experience, and it was worth every second.’  

The passionate kayaker’s motto is: ‘Do what you love and love what you do.’

Once Mr Jackson landed in the white froth below, he came out of his kayak

Once Mr Jackson landed in the white froth below, he came out of his kayak

And his passion certainly translates into achievement as he has racked up over 80 first-place finishes in freestyle kayaking competitions. 

He still travels for about eight months out of every year, attending events and finding new places to kayak.  

Mr Jackson has severe hearing difficulties and wears hearing aids, but insists that it doesn’t act as a disadvantage in the kayaking world. 

He said: ‘There are no disadvantages to being deaf in kayaking. There’s an advantage because I can read lips from across the river, which is helpful if you’re trying to get information on something that’s coming up.’        

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here