Malta is a beautiful country full of excitement and adventure. The Azure window is fabulous and the Blue Lagoon is as beautiful as pictures make it seem. And people yearn to cross cliff diving off their bucket list while here.
Like any other study abroad student, I had my own bucket list and cliff diving was on it. I was determined to jump from a cliff into the crystal blue waters at some point during my voyage.
We were at the Blue Lagoon, swimming in the mass of clear waters. You could practically see the sand move beneath your toes. The day was hot and the lagoon was packed. Tons of tourists, study abroad students, and families crowded into the miraculous blue waters.
Just a short swim away stood a cliff standing over 70 ft high. A group of us over heard talk of cliff diving from this point. Curious, we headed our way on over to this giant beast of a cliff. As we swam through the seaweed, we perched ourselves on the rocks at the bottom of cliff.
The jumper was unlike anything I had ever seen. You know those movies where a person jumps from a building and for a split moment you think, “Man, they are toast.” Well, the same goes for cliff diving. As these students jumped, some from my own classroom, I witnessed what I never thought could happen.
Did you know the impact of the water from that high can cause someone’s back to break? Neither did I. One of my classmates took the jump. And others. Like birds, they continued to flock off the cliff.
As the students emerged from the water, you could see the pain on their face. They held their back or their head, just trying to take a few steps away from the tremendous mountain.
I gulped. At this point, I realized I would not be doing any cliff diving today… We swam our way back to safety. Suddenly, a helicopter coasted overhead. We knew exactly why they were there. The cliff.
Needless to say, no one died. But they could have. A week later, we were back on the ship. In class, we were informed that one of our classmates would not be returning. They had broken their back jumping from the cliff.
Another ship mate wandered the halls in a back brace. Never at any moment in my life was I more grateful that I decided not to jump.
There are some leaps in life we should take, then there are others that are just not worth it. When it comes to cliff diving, make sure you know when it’s safe and when it’s not. Do your research and plan a head because in one jump, you could shatter your life.
Have you ever been cliff diving? What was your experience?