August 9, 2018
On August 8, 2018 at approximately 3:45 pm, the Skamania County 911 center received a report that a male subject had jumped from the top of Rock Creek falls and was injured.
Robert Joseph Sellars, 52 years of age had hiked up Rock Creek to the area of the falls with his wife, 2 sons and a friend.
Sellars made his way to the top of the 60-foot water fall and jumped. Sellars impacted the rocks below the falls, which resulted in a serious back injury. Crews from Stevenson Fire/Skamania Fire District 2 and Skamania County EMS were eventually able to gain access to Sellars by navigating through chest deep water. Crews were then able to stabilize Sellars and remove him from the shallow water.
It was determined that it would be extremely difficult to extricate Sellars utilizing a ropes system and the decision was made to request a helicopter to conduct a hoist operation.
The Washington State Department of Emergency Management, in coordination with the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center were able to secure a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Astoria to respond and extract Sellars from the canyon by hoist.
Sellars was then air lifted to OHSU Hospital for injuries sustained in the incident.
Sellars wife Leah reported she and her husband and their two sons arrived at the Rock Creek Falls just minutes before the incident occurred. Leah explained her husband is a “cliff diver” and videos himself jumping off cliffs and posting the footage on his website, AirAboveWater.com. This site allows persons to post videos of their cliff diving experiences. Leah reported her husband, Robert went to the top of the Rock Creek Falls while she and her sons filmed the jump from below.