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A 19-year-old man survived a fall down a 400-foot canyon below the High Steel Bridge in Washington state over the Memorial Day weekend. The man fell while trying to walk underneath the bridge, which is one of the tallest railroad bridges in the U.S. Originally built by the Simpson Logging company in 1929 and later converted into a road in the 1950s or 60s, the bridge poses risks due to its deceptive terrain. The teen, who was not identified, sustained minor injuries. Images released by the sheriff’s office show the teen being rescued by a firefighter using a rope and harness to scale the bridge.

The West Mason Fire Chief Matthew Welander explained that the man was walking down a washout that many people use as a trail, but is too steep and dangerous. The area around the high steel bridge is known for its slippery, steep, and unsafe terrain. Despite warning signs, the lack of respect for nature in the area leads to frequent rescue operations. Welander mentioned that rescue teams have to go down into the area around three to five times per year for rescues, with a high ratio of body recoveries compared to rescues. Additionally, two of the rescues involved deputy sheriffs who were flown out due to injuries sustained in the area.

The High Steel Bridge spans the south fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County, rising 365 feet above the river. The bridge, measuring 685 feet in length, has become a popular destination for visitors, despite the dangerous terrain surrounding it. Authorities have been working to warn people about the risks associated with exploring the area and have made efforts to ensure the safety of visitors. The bridge, known for its historical significance and stunning views, attracts many who are seeking adventure and thrills, often leading to accidents and rescues.

The authorities have emphasized the importance of respecting nature and heeding warning signs in the area surrounding the High Steel Bridge. While the bridge offers scenic views and a unique experience for visitors, it also presents risks due to its challenging terrain. The incident involving the young man who fell into the canyon serves as a reminder of the dangers posed by exploring areas that may appear safe but are actually hazardous. Rescue operations in the area have become somewhat routine due to the frequency of accidents and injuries, prompting officials to continuously remind the public about the importance of safety when visiting the bridge and its surroundings.

The teen’s survival after falling 400 feet down a canyon below the High Steel Bridge is considered miraculous, given the potential for serious injury or death in such a fall. The successful rescue operation, carried out by a firefighter who scaled the bridge with a rope and harness, highlights the importance of emergency preparedness and prompt response to accidents in remote and challenging terrain. As visitors continue to flock to the iconic bridge for its historical significance and picturesque location, authorities are working to enhance safety measures and raise awareness about the risks associated with exploring the area. By following guidelines, respecting nature, and staying cautious, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the High Steel Bridge while minimizing the chances of accidents and injuries.

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