Emergency responders rescued four people from Cascade Creek on Monday afternoon, only to immediately receive another call to help two additional stranded waterfall jumpers in the same party out of the fast-flowing waterway.
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, search and rescue, and emergency management teams, La Plata County Search and Rescue and Durango Fire Protection District retrieved a total of six people, ages ranging from 11 to 48, from the creek with no injuries, La Plata County Search and Rescue President Ron Corkish said.
A seventh person was able to climb to safety on his own and call for help, Corkish said.
“It was the typical deal,” he said. “The typical response is: ‘We’ve done it before, and everything turned out fine.’ We thought we were done this season.”
But because of recent storms, the water was running higher than usual.
San Juan County officials could not be reached for details about the rescued individuals, but Corkish said they likely had attempted to jump the series of waterfalls, as many have tried this summer.
The falls are accessed by the Cascade Creek Trail, about 30 miles north of Durango, and have proved a dangerous playground over the past three months.
In June, three men were rescued from the area. Days later, two more people were rescued from the falls, while a third, 19-year-old Haley Clarke, of Bayfield, drowned.
Those incidents were followed by a third in July when a 16-year-old boy was rescued.
Monday’s rescue operation brings the Cascade Creek mission count this summer to four.