Deep water soloing banned at Summersville Lake

by Tom Markiewicz on May 31, 2007

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (who built many of the man made lakes in this country) has banned cliff jumping and diving on all of its managed recreation property in the Huntington District in West Virginia. This area includes the popular Summersville Lake climbing area. Apparently, at least one climber called the office listed below and confirmed that the ban includes deep water soloing.

The rule that specifically bans deep water soloing is “Entering the lake from a height greater than one??s own is always prohibited.”


Here’s the full press release:

Effective immediately, the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is banning cliff jumping/diving on all district managed recreational property.

Cliff jumping/diving is a reckless and potentially very dangerous activity that has always been strongly discouraged on USACE recreational projects. Recent water-related accidents and fatalities have prompted Huntington District to take the lead in prohibiting this activity.

Overall, there have been 69 water-related deaths in the Huntington District since 1993; there were seven deaths in 2006.

Warnings will be posted at district projects alerting users of the dangers associated with cliff jumping/diving and advising them of the ban. Warnings will be issued by park rangers explaining the dangers associated with the activity.

Failure to heed warnings may result in citation under Title 36, which may result in a penalty of up to $5,000 or even federal imprisonment.

District lakes where the ban is now in effect include: Alum Creek, Deer Creek, Delaware, Dillon, North Branch of Kokosing and Paint Creek Lakes in Ohio; Beech Fork, Bluestone, Burnsville, East Lynn, R.D. Bailey, Summersville, and Sutton Lakes in West Virginia; Dewey, Fishtrap, Grayson, Paintsville and Yatesville Lakes in Kentucky; and John W. Flannagan in Virginia.

For more information, please contact the Public Affairs office at (304) 399-5353.

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