It would be fair to say that cliff jumping is a pastime that divides opinion and that is clearly illustrated by the lad in this footage. It is a high-risk activity that can result in serious injury and only experienced jumpers who have thoroughly risk-assessed the jump should attempt leaps of this magnitude.
Scotland is a popular destination for cliff jumpers with its dramatic plunging cliffs and clean waters. In this short clip we see slow-motion footage of a jumper leaping from a 150 feet cliff and collide with a low-flying seabird just before he hits the water. He appears to drag the bird under the water and we don’t get to find out if either are okay after the collision. We hope that they are!
Facing Dangers in Cliff Jumps
Cliff jumpers face a number of dangers. They can misjudge the jump and hurl themselves against the cliff. High winds can change their course and guide them onto rocks. Once in the water, the momentum of the fall will take them many feet below the surface where there can be rocks and other submerged obstacles.
There is also the added danger of getting into difficulties in the deep water if you are not a strong swimmer. One of the scenarios that most jumpers will have not factored into their risk assessment is hitting a bird!
Seabirds on the Coast of Scotland
It is difficult to identify the exact species involved in this encounter but there is a rich diversity of birdlife in this area. Seagulls are plentiful in Scotland and throughout the northern hemisphere. They have large bodies, long bills and wings and sinewy legs. Their plumage can be white, grey or even black.
The razorbill is another inhabitant of this area. It nests in colonies and is often seen around the Firth of Lorne. They get their name from their beak which has very sharp edges to help them catch fish and fend off predators. Razorbills live off crustaceans, worms, and fish. To catch fish, they fly above the ocean’s surface, on the lookout for a tasty meal. When they spot one, they can dive up to 400 feet below the surface to catch it. The last thing they would be expecting is a human in freefall dragging them below the surface. Hopefully, their expertise at diving means that this, albeit shocked, bird made its way back up to the surface!
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